Marketing Strategy
3 Credible Ways to Differentiate Your Product in a Competitive Market

3 Credible Ways to Differentiate Your Product in a Competitive Market

March 4, 2020
4 min read

The growth of the internet has leveled the playing field for small and medium businesses. Smaller businesses with a strong product can now compete with global brands.

However, competition is also greater than ever before. So how do you differentiate your product and stand out from the rest?

Quick Takeaways:

  • You must have a real understanding of your audience in order to create a product that solves their problems.
  • Sometimes, it may just be a case of positioning your product to demonstrate its unique selling products, rather than adjusting the product itself.
  • Content marketing is essential for building trust and authority with your audience to differentiate your brand from others.

1. Know Your Audience

Very similar products can sometimes be targeted at vastly different audiences. For example, just look at the Kindle Fire line of tablets by Amazon. The basic product is the same technology. But, while the standard Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD are aimed at an adult audience who want to watch movies, read books, and perhaps do a bit of web browsing on the go, the Kindle Fire Kids Edition is wrapped in brightly colored shock-proof casing and focuses on educational games and other content aimed at children.

Remember, strip these products back to the bare bones and they’re exactly the same, but Amazon knows their audience well enough to adjust their product to fit.

They know lots of kids use tablets, but the parents that buy these tablets have a few issues:

  • Tablets are easily broken due to rough handling by a small child.
  • Children may easily access inappropriate content on a standard tablet.
  • Parents like the convenience and educational opportunities that tablets bring, but still worry about giving their kids too much screen time.
  • Good-quality kids apps and content subscriptions can get expensive.

While the children’s app market is huge, other tablet brands have not achieved Amazon’s success in creating a product designed specifically to speak to the challenges facing parents with young children. By focusing on these problems, Amazon was able to reposition their core product to solve the issues of their customers wanting to buy a tablet for their child.

2. Emphasize the USPs of Your Offering

Amazon managed to create one of the most popular kids’ tablets by adjusting their standard product in a few simple ways. The unique selling points of the Kindle Kids tablet include:

  • A colorful casing that is attractive to kids, protects the tablet from damage, and doubles up as a stand
  • Two-year worry-free guarantee bundled with the product ­– “if it breaks, return it and we’ll replace it”
  • One year free of unlimited access to kids’ books, apps, and TV shows, $2.99 a month thereafter
  • Allows parents to easily control screen time limits and filter content

Only the addition of the casing is an actual physical change to the product. All the other features of the kids’ tablet are emphasized for marketing purposes (the unlimited kids’ subscription and parental controls are also available on standard tablets).

Amazon is a great example of how it’s important to really understand your audience and their problems and needs, so you can position your product and market it in a way that will get you the best results.

Problem: You don’t want to give your expensive iPad to your child in case he breaks it.

Solution: Buy him a Kindle Fire Kids tablet, and if he breaks it, you can just get a new one for free!

Your USPs need to be strong enough to make you stand out from your competitors. Anyone can compete on price. You need to offer something of real value and back it up with real evidence. For example, there’s no point telling your audience that your products are the best quality. You need to demonstrate that your products are of higher quality than others.

Blendtec’s “Will it Blend?” series on YouTube is a fantastic example of creative content that demonstrates the quality of their products. Think your blender can handle anything? Well, can it blend an iPad?

3. Build Authority and Trust

If you’ve successfully gone through the major steps of understanding your audience, creating a product they need, and positioning that product to emphasize its USPs, you could sit back and wait for the sales to come rolling in.

Or, you could be proactive and use your online presence to build authority and trust with your audience so they’re more likely to buy your product rather than one from your competitors in the future.

Smart businesses use a combination of content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing to demonstrate their expertise in their industry, position their brand as an authority in their niche, and build trust with their audience prior to becoming paying customers.

Blendtec’s YouTube channel, as mentioned above, is an example of how to cleverly use high-quality, sharable content to build authority. (As well as blending iPads, glow sticks, and diamonds, Blendtec also offers some more traditional recipes.)

Help desk software company Groove explains how content marketing itself was one of their key differentiators. They explain how their blog about their journey as a startup became an important part of their brand and helped to build trust with their readers:

“Through building trust over the long term, our content⁠—and the startup journey brand⁠—became the single biggest driver of growth for our business.”

While Groove wasn’t the first startup to blog about the early days of their business, they made sure they stood out from their competitors by creating content that is interesting, unique, and useful.

Need Help with Your Content Marketing?

You might not need to make a single change to your product to differentiate against the rest. Instead, it might be a case of focusing on your content to build trust with your audience and position your brand as an authority in your industry.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content that’s consistently published, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today and generate more traffic and leads for your business.

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

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