How branding provides a competitive advantage
Powerful branding evokes desire, value, and loyalty and drives your customer to buy (or not). To outperform direct and indirect competitors, you need differentiators that create a strong competitive advantage. Since you can’t be all these things to all people, it’s important to determine a brand strategy that helps your company stand apart and reach your most valuable customers.
Below, we’re sharing six brand differentiators that can help your business stand out. A brand differentiator must be true, provable, and important to your customers. These differentiators are part of a strategic brand management that will help your company shine, so choose two to four that are relevant to your company’s offerings and watch how they give your business the edge to compete.
Product or Service Superiority: Having a product or service that sets the standard of quality for your industry is key to marketplace domination. It’s imperative to continuously improve your offerings to meet consumer demands, whether you’re designing new packaging or identifying and reducing customer pain points.
Company Size: Communicating the size of your business in relation to the specialization of your business can signal to customers that your company has a major influence in its location or industry for good reason. Are you the largest grocery delivery service in town? Consumers want to know.
Distribution Methods: There are a variety of distribution methods available to get products to your customers, including wholesale, direct (Internet or catalog), consultant, retail, dealer, or a manufacturer representative. Distribution decisions can significantly impact pricing, marketing budgets, and product margins and profits, so choose what makes the most sense for your product or service offerings.
Technological Benefits: Most companies are using software and hardware to improve the efficiency or effectiveness of their business and are using a website, social media channels, and paid digital marketing to increase reach for their company. Though the majority of brand marketing techniques are already capitalizing on the perks technology provides, there are still ways to stand out, including: building a content strategy, creating a space to funnel customer feedback, and valuing quality over quantity. (Anyone can produce 25 tweets a day, but if the content lacks substance, you’ll lose customers.)
Production Efficiency: Ensuring your company invests in its methods for production, distribution, and inventory helps create opportunity for more business. Serving your consumers quickly is paramount, especially in the age of Amazon, so if there are ways to cut corners without compromising your product or service offerings, implement those changes now.
Market Responsiveness: Being able to anticipate what your customers need and having the capability to quickly respond to changing consumer demands is critical. Like with production efficiency, speed is key.
Brand differentiators help build competitive advantages for your brand by teaching you how to command a marketplace and allowing you to focus on your company resources. Identify which brand differentiators your customers value, then observe the ones where your company excels and how your company stacks up to its competition. Branding done well can’t be duplicated, and that’s a cardinal competitive advantage.