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Dare to be different

25/03/2012

A couple of months ago, I earned myself a well deserved break. And in my various escapades, I stumbled across some very interesting places, people, and products. There was a lone Flautist perched on a tree playing to guests at a remote village restaurant in Sri Lanka. My son and I climbed Sigiriya rock (A world heritage site) where a Sinhalese king built a fortress (swimming pool and palace included) on top of this gigantic rock. We stayed at a very unique hotel called Cinnamon Lodge in Habarana Sri Lanka, which is built smack dab in the middle of a forest and is positioned as the ultimate Eco-tourist destination. I also visited some interesting places in Singapore, including the risque and upmarket Abercrombie & Fitch clothing store.
All of the above stories including A&F’s “Shirtless greeters” are brilliant examples of product differentiation. These are products that succeeded in creating a favourable Brand Attitude in my select list. In the modern break neck world of Social Media and mass proliferation, the one thing Marketers would be smart in doing is to create a solid product/brand differentiation. Product/brand differentiation is a key element in building the brand strategy, and makes a brand stand out from its competitors. Essentially, what this means is to create a unique set of product or brand attributes that positions a company’s product or service in a uniquely different manner in the consumers mind. This is compared against the competitors product attributes. This can be measurements through Brand Attribute tests. By creating unique attributes products/brands will lend towards a more favourable position during the consumers decision making process. Product / Brand differentiation can be a direct tangible benefit such as Product innovation – Patek Phillipe, Toyota Prius Hybrid, Apple ipad, Price – Bunnings hardware or more sublime as in a Marcomms campaign – IBM “Smarter Planet”, Nike “Just do it”.

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