Differentiation hack...and help stop price comparisons!

I've mentioned oversupply before. The fact that - in mature economies - for everything we commonly consume, there are a host of alternatives for potential (and current) customers. The supply chain is now that good! And this applies to professional services as well as physical goods.

So differentiation is more important than ever. I've written previously on the topics of brand promises and how to sustain your brand as means of gaining and keeping an advantage. Another strategy is sub-branding an aspect of your services and marketing that.

The more your company (and brand) looks and feels like another, the more you'll be stuck in price competition. If two companies appear to be identical in every way: service, product, location, support etc...you'll pick the cheapest one. Why wouldn't you?

It's particularly relevant to service-based companies where deliverables and approaches can seem pretty much the same. Unlike physical products, where comparison is usually easier.

Packaging and productising an approach or a set of steps can have the following benefits:

  • Perceived uniqueness: Instead of explaining your approach longhand - which may end up sounding like everyone else - giving it a name helps it seem as if it's special to you.

  • Education: Names help prospective customers compartmentalise product offerings and have a better understand of what they will receive. E.g...

SUB-BRAND A includes products a, b and c.

SUB-BRAND B includes products a, b, c, plus d and e.

  • Differentiated Pricing: When you are have different sub-brands, it helps to differentiate suits of products and helps with pricing. You're able to try strategies like good, better and best pricing options.

One of my favourite examples is the computer hosting company Rackspace (rackspace.com). They've branded and trademarked Fanatical Experience (TM) as a product offering to their customers. This is an evolution of their Fanatical Support (R) experience that's been with them for over 20 years.


If this seems like a "gimmick" then please ask yourself if you truly believe in what you're doing. Is your company capable of delivering real value to customers. Are they better off dealing with you vs. the competition? If the answer is yes, then this approach serves to inform and educate customers in a way that helps them engage with you and get the great things you provide.

Keep scaling.


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