Game Changer: Finding A Brand’s Differentiator

As popular as it may be the old saying ‘ if you can’t beat them, join them’ is the exact opposite of what a brand should do to compete in the market place. Many companies can simply exist for a time employing this mantra, but eventually, the model will fail with too many players offering the same service.

If there is one constant, its that the competition will never let up – there will always be an upcoming launch, a new product or a lower price. In this constant and yet, even increasing competitive marketplace, a brand’s point of view must be distilled to its clearest message possible. The stand out aspect – the differentiator – is what will attract notice, garner attention and lead to conversio opportunities.

Though it may seem obvious enough for some, finding a company’s differentiating factor can be a difficult task. Here are a few ways to ensure that a brand’s ‘wow factor’ shines through to the marketplace. The difference could prove to be a true game changer.


There are many ways focus on specialization depending on the business model to create a powerful competitive advantage. Dialing in a product to a specific industry, for instance, has proven to be a bread and butter strategy for many thriving companies. This can be particularly successful if the service provided caters to a niche market looking for multiple solutions – thus opening up the opportunity for additional products as many markets prefer a one-stop-shop, reliable source.

Be Unique

Does the brand approach the market in an entirely different way from the competition? Here is where standing out from the crowd should be the main event. Yes, customer service and product quality is paramount, but ensuring that the brand offers a clearly different point of view than it’s competitors is the main aspect of truly standing out.

Focus on Client Base

A key differentiator for many companies is their in-depth understanding of a specific market segment. Knowing the ins-and-outs of a particular customer base can help to offer both a product and service offering that exceeds expectations and keeps users coming back. It’s one thing to focus on a general market (ie. millennial women) but going further and carving out a deeper client base, for example, active women between 18-34, will help to craft more meaningful messaging and create connection.

Problem Solve

Most consumers come to the marketplace again and again because they have a problem to solve. Whether hungry, tired of their home decor, have worn out clothing or in need of organization – they are looking to make their lives better. In order to be truly successful, a company must identify a problem that is simple but tough to solve well on their own. Enter the expertise and skill of the company.

Appeal Visually

There’s a reason that good packaging always wins the day – it stands out. Design is one of the easiest ways to make – or break – a company’s reputation in the market. The design must be relevant to the brand and offer useful cues to the product or company it represents. Whether print or digital, a focus on user experience will always help the cause.

Vanessa Petersen

As Executive Director of Brand Strategy based in ArtVersion’s Portland office, Vanessa manages both national and West Coast accounts. She brings with her a passion for strategy with extensive experience in creative marketing, brand growth and development. She is a true advocate of storytelling and brand building from the inside out, and her keen knowledge of the marketplace, trend patterns and usability lead her to identify opportunities that can inspire powerful design strategies.

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