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Identify your point of difference

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If you are looking to improve your brand for the New Year, one of the most important things a marketer should do is to identify their key point of difference. While it may sound like basic marketing advice, it sometimes gets lost in benefit-focused campaigns. However, it is critically important to your customers’ decision-making process.

Focusing on your point of difference requires you to review the marketplace and to see what your competitors are saying. First you will need to do a quick study of the competition. Spend some time on the Internet and see what your competitors are saying about themselves and your industry. While you may do a full-blown competitive analysis once every two years or so, reviewing competitive brands and their messages frequently will help your brand keep a competitive edge.

Pay attention to how or if they promote the same benefits you do and how their message is different from yours. What do they say about their brand? How do they prioritize their benefits in the message? Do they express a brand personality or story to identify with or are they coldly corporate?

Start a chart with all your competitors listed and incorporate your research findings. When you are done you will see where messages overlap and where gaps exist. Once you have a good understanding of how the competitors are positioning themselves, you can be more specific in creating your strategy to stand out from among the rest. This type of exercise will provide the necessary insights you need to craft your own unique and compelling point of difference.

Another important factor you must consider when identifying your point of difference is your target customer. After all, it is their need that will be satisfied with their purchase decision.  Understanding your customers’ point of reference, their product knowledge level, and which features and benefits are most relevant to them helps you to know why a customer would prefer to buy from you. This is why market research and asking your customers about their brand experience is so valuable and enlightening.

Arming yourself with this information will help you to more accurately identify your brands unique point of difference. By focusing on this one point, your marketing messages will more effectively express your brand and your creative will go in a sharper direction.

Want more on multiple points of difference? Check this out: http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/2012/04/brand-positioning-selecting-a-point-of-difference.html#.UuZ6dPbnaCo