Creative Differentiation: Embracing Uniqueness in a Competitive Industry

Multiple fish drawn on a chalkboard, with a majority of them being white in color and swimming left and one being yellow and swimming right, used to depict creative differentiationYour product can be the solution to all life’s problems, but if you have a slew of doppelgangers selling the same merchandise, you’ll still struggle to gain a foothold in your industry. Like our parents used to say, you must embrace your uniqueness. People want to see what sets you apart from others, as the human mind is wired to focus its attention on what’s distinctly different. This practice, known as creative differentiation, is a critical component when displaying your uniqueness in a competitive industry. But how does one achieve a reasonable level of creative differentiation?

Determine How to Angle Your Brand

Your goal shouldn’t be to strongarm your way into the existing market through one-upmanship; it should be to create a space that’s uniquely yours. Survey your team and consumers to discover your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Once determining your capabilities, you’ll have a clearer vision of differentiation possibilities. Play to any strengths that haven’t already been claimed by the competition – such as award-winning customer service or diverse leadership. Trying to rival the competition in a strength they’ve established over years will make your brand indistinguishable from the rest.

Suss Out the Competition

While your growth may be a combination of personal and competitive obstacles, one of your goals should be to differentiate yourself from others in your industry. Focus on your major competitors and scrutinize their business model. Some elements to scope out in particular include:

  • Consult Consumers: Hire a third party to interview your competitor’s consumers and why they prefer their brand, and take a look at their testimonials. Find out what specialty or advantage they offer over your business.
  • Identify Gaps in the Market: Identify trends in your industry and target what’s missing. Are your clients searching for solutions elsewhere that you can easily address? Supplement your existing products with services that meet the clients’ additional needs.
  • Analyze Their Marketing: Take a look at their social media presence, sales tactics, and audience engagement. See if they’re missing out on demographics due to a linear focus or are not addressing the entirety of their audience’s pain points.

Once you identify the common traits present within your competition, you can take steps towards setting yourself apart.

Showcase Your Creative Differentiation

You must cast aside generic selling tactics and focus on authentic and consistent brand identity. Just because your product may seem boring doesn’t mean your marketing has to be. Find ways to gather your audience’s attention by:

  • Describing What Else You Can Offer: Beyond the product, what can you offer your client? Finds what places you above and beyond, such as employee benefits, green initiatives, or complimentary services.
  • Showing That You’re One of a Kind: Show that you’re not just another grayscale business by evoking some personality. Use transparency to depict how you and your team are handling a crisis or showcase your charitable nature. In turn, your reputation will speak volumes.
  • Harboring Relationships: Successful marketing depends on customer interactions. Don’t be shy; become engaged in the conversations and address your negative reviews. Also, if you have a great rapport with your team, don’t be afraid to capitalize on that on social media.

The great thing about this process is that even if you don’t have a particular strength due to your company’s size or resources, you can achieve creative differentiation through your logo, advertising, or product design.

Displaying your uniqueness in a competitive industry is not simple. It takes a lot of ingenuity and creativity to stand out in a saturated field. However, by utilizing creative differentiation, your marketing and brand identity can place you a step ahead of the competition. We here at Vision Advertising have more than twenty years of experience building creative marketing strategies and managing brands. For a free consultation and to learn how you can make a splash in your industry, contact us today.

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About the author : Alex Geyer

Alex wears many hats, and not just because he’s bald. A writer by background, Alex writes “content” for Vision – anything from social media statuses to blogs to website copy and beyond. In addition, as Senior Brand Strategist, he builds and maintains all search engine advertising for Vision, manages multiple client projects, and herds many meetings. In his free time, he starts and stops writing novels, reads a copious amount of fiction, plays video games, and an enthusiastic chef at home. He’s trying to become a better plant daddy.

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