Differentiation is the act of standing out from your competition. It’s a huge part of branding and marketing your business. Differentiation works because of the perceived value of your offer. The more valuable it seems to someone the more likely they are to want to use it. How do you make it seem valuable? You make it seem different. There are a few ways that brands differentiate themselves from their competition. The top ways are price, service, innovation, and quality.

Price is the most common way. You can either choose to undercut the competition by offering radically lower prices or you can swing to the other end and offer much higher-than-average prices. Service refers to providing something different than others in your industry in terms of customer service. This can be anything from being very hands-on with a client to offering extra amenities to having a flexible business policy. It just depends on what is the norm in your industry and then doing something different. With innovation, you don’t have to be an inventor you just have to create or do something different. This can be new systems for completing a service, using existing software in a new way, or enhancing a product or service over time. The goal of innovation is to create something superior that serves or over serves a specific audience. Quality is about providing a service or product that is better than everyone else. The focus is on the superiority of the item/service and why it’s the best.

One really fun thing to mention is that you don’t have to pick. You can combine them to customize the strategy for your business and your industry. Replicating what others are saying and doing is the fastest way to be invisible. Being invisible means, you are a lot more likely to get ignored and passed over for the sale because customers don’t know why to pick you. The most important thing is to be unique and stand out. Lean into the things that make your business special for your customers and help them answer the question of why they choose you over anyone else.