Now move on to the Intangible Benefits - those emotional, sub-conscious
benefits you want your Brand to own. This includes things like status (Tiffany)
or badge value (Virgin). It is these intangible benefits that are becoming the
most important leverage for Brand dominance.
Your Brand must be perceived to be unique.
To create a substantial differential advantage in your Brand,
you must first create a point of difference in the way
customers perceive your Brand - one that is so successfully
unique in the minds of your customers that no other brand
can substitute for it.
Uniqueness does not in itself necessarily motivate traffic,
sales or repeat visits. Nevertheless, it must be perceived as
being unique, before any other values can be attached to it.
Your Brand must be important to your core customers.
Many retailers assume that the most important benefit is
Price. This is true for some customers, but for many others,
Price is only the beginning and for most, it is an
unsustainable competitive advantage.
Competitive prices are the ‘greens fee’ that allows you to
play in the game; but to win, you need much more, e.g.
product mix, service, look, and marketing, all important
options you need to re-examine to help determine where
you want to dominate.
Your Brand’s point of difference must be delivered and
sustained with style and substance.
Together, these three factors will help you to achieve a
compelling, competitive advantage that delivers a superior
customer benefit and can only be challenged by the
competition over a long period of time and at great cost.
Some Options for Brand Differentiation:
Newest, hottest, with it, in
Best overall total experience •
Most convenient, easiest
Best overall value
The Differential Advantage and Branding
Only few products are unique. Often the challenge lays in
finding a way to differentiate your products from a rival’s near-
identical offerings. The basic question says: “How can I get an
advantage over the competition?” When your products are
better than those of your competitors, and when customers
recognize this superiority, you have a real advantage. Few
organizations are in this position. Most find that there is a little
or nothing to distinguish their own products from
To gain competitive advantage, uncover not just differences but
also attributes that customer’s value. Make sure the differences
are meaningful to customers, so that your product is preferable
to the others available. Often it is the little things that count.
Customers may choose your product over a competitor’s
identical product because they prefer your information or
because you give them coffee while delivery of the information.