Differentiation For Small Businesses

We have talked about differentiation before, an important part of a company’s branding, but unfortunately, some authors make it very confusing for people to understand the difference between branding a product and branding a company. At Twelve12, we want to tell you a little bit more about branding and differentiation, so you can develop better and more effective branding strategies for your business.

Branding in Orange County is no different than branding anywhere else in the world, the difference lies with the audience or your target market. People from all over the world have different cultures and if you have an international business, you should adjust your branding plan accordingly.

The book definition of differentiation may say that your company or product should be different from those of your competitors, and at this point, I want to take a moment to establish the difference between a company´s branding and a product’s branding.

As an example, let’s think about a company that sells cosmetics. The baseline is that they sell cosmetics, and as a company, it can only be differentiated from others based on a few statements. Yves Rocher is one of the many cosmetic companies around the world, they don’t appeal to high-end customers and they mainly sell their products through a catalog with a marketing network business style; the price is similar to those beauty products sold at the supermarket. Their differentiation as a company relies on making their products with natural ingredients, free of parabens and 100% free of animal components, testing and cruelty. As part of their differentiation they have some very interesting community features: they have a botanical garden, open and free to the public, which helps to raise awareness about the environment and plants; they also have awards and scholarship programs for women around the world; and they produce their cosmetics mostly where the main natural ingredient grows naturally supporting the local economy and fair trade. What’s not to like about this company, right? And the differentiation of their products relies on the main botanical component of each of them and its particular benefits to the skin. Their main competitors, with the same business concept, such as Avon, Mary Kay or Natura, are nowhere near their quality or social engagement, even though they have similar products.

Hopefully, with this review, the differentiation concept about a product or a company is going to be easier to understand, and you won’t be disappointed to have a “regular” product out there; you just need to make it unique in some way to establish a difference among your competitors.

To learn more about branding in Orange County or worldwide, give us a call today, at Twelve12 we’ll be happy to help you.

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