With several choices available in the marketplace for any given product, be it a bar of soap or a car, it is important to define differentiation for your branded product. You can differentiate your product, no matter how generic it is in its properties, to make it own a unique identity and connection with customers. That is in very simple terms the definition of branding. It’s the distinct identity that you create to help your customers connect with your product. It’s the perceptual aura that you create for your product. It’s the stamp of confidence that you build around your product. It’s the bedrock for differentiation.
In order to define your brand, it is important to focus on elements that are sustainable over a long-term. It can be your technology that differentiates you from the rest, puts your brand at the forefront of innovation and a step ahead of competition. It can be the design excellence that defines your brand. It can be the customer service that is at the core of your business and makes you command the trust of your customers.
It is often asked if price can be the differentiator for a brand. How much a product costs the customer can be an important element of the product. It may be the most important consideration factor for many products, but it cannot be the differentiating element. Price more often than not is a sanity factor. Price-value equation triumphs the price very easily. You cannot define your brand purely on price. On the contrary, if you brand it right, you can command a premium for your product.
Your differentiation is something that makes a statement on why consumers must select you above anyone else. Branding is that statement. It’s something that stands out for you. The best way to define it is by understanding the needs of your customers and gaps in the marketplace and mapping them to your strengths.