How can you make your services/products stand apart from your competitors? Competition is tough, customer loyalty is not what it once was, and the price of products continues to rise. Differentiating your products can be a challenge. Let’s look at how your business can differentiate your products to increase the chances that your target market will choose your product.
Although a familiar concept in the business world, the 5 P’s of marketing (product, place, price, promotion, people) is a highly effective method of differentiating your product. The answer for how to differentiate your product can be found in any of the 5 P’s of marketing.
PRODUCT/SERVICE DIFFERENTIATION can come in many various forms. Companies can offer decreased prices, higher quality products, special services, or different product sizes (which can make price comparison more difficult).
**Decreasing prices by sourcing products from overseas is perhaps the most common method of decreasing your product price. Product quality has seen great improvements in developing countries and the potential for importing quality, low cost products is greater now than it ever has been. Although some are still wary of purchasing products from a company they don’t know, many business women and men have found that purchasing products through b2b platform businesses allow them to avoid wholesalers.
**Special Services options are only limited to the specialties and imagination of the people in your company. Free shipping, customer services, or specialized customer advice are common services companies can offer. Online newsletters are also an effective way to give your target audience advice while still educating them about your company.
**Different product sizes and colors can also be a very attractive feature. Many groups of customers appreciate products that are different and are attracted to products that help display their special characteristics. A check with your supplier may surprise you at the various product styles and colors they can produce. (As a note, asking your supplier about various product colors offered can be cheaper than asking for different sizes. Different size products may mean a change or a different assembly line method.)
PLACE DIFFERENTIATION can include making your product available in more locations, for longer hours at a time, or over the Internet. Place differentiating in marketing – how your company’s brand name is marketed and seen by audiences – has also recently seen significant shifts. As many companies realize the disdain most people have of traditional marketing strategies, they have sought new ways to educate people about their brands. Content marketing (embedding information in interesting publication) and Entertainment marketing (placing your brand name within various entertainment products) can be a more subtle and acceptable to audiences.
PRICE DIFFERENTIATION can be difficult as many customers can now go “price shopping” even when they are in the actual store making purchases. But setting the list price of a product is only one of means of price advertising. Offering various payment methods to preferred or various groups of customers or offering decreased/free shipping can draw people to your products.
PROMOTION DIFFERENTIATION, as seen above, has taken a turn recently as consumers normally turn a blind eye to most advertisements. Subtle has become the new advertising scheme as most advertisements are rejected by consumers. How can you make your advertisements seem helpful to customers? Infographics are gaining in popularity as the information looks and is useful and educational to consumers. Through infographics, companies are able to offer some helpful information to customers while still educating customers about their product/services. Other companies have acknowledged the number of hours customers spend on various social networks and have turned to accessing customers through popular social networking sites.
PEOPLE DIFFERENTIATION can come in several forms. Online or brick-and-mortar businesses can put qualified, educated, and caring people in charge of assisting customers. Many customers are attracted to businesses who offer service representatives who care. People differentiation can also include the groups you are marketing your product to. Marketing to smaller more interested groups of customers can allow you to better personalize your marketing attempt and can save your marketing budget time, money, and effort.
There is a need for your company’s product on the market. However, many times, the need your product fulfills is not obvious to consumers. Educating your customers how your product/service can fulfill their needs and make their lives better can increase the chances they will purchase the product. But effectively educating your customers and attracting them to your product through common advertising types used in the past may be partially ineffective. Marketing creativity and knowledge about your customers go hand in hand. Overall, your ability and method of presenting your products to your customers is critical to the longevity of your businesses.