!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Differentiation - Easier Said than Done

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Differentiation - Easier Said than Done

If you're trying to come up with concrete ways of helping your employees home in on true points of differentiation between what your company has to offer and what is available from competitors, the list of questions supplied in a recent post at brandingstrategyinsider.com can help.

The thesis of the post is that "[o]ften, exploring different competitive frames of reference will help you choose the most powerful brand benefit." All the suggested questions are certainly worth pondering, but for the specific purpose of articulating your point(s) of differentiation, think particularly about these (slightly edited):

Could another brand within our category credibly insert its name into our brand’s positioning statement?

What are the most likely substitutes for our product/service?

What could neutralize our point of difference?

What could make our point of difference obsolete?

What could kill our category?

Note that you don't need to reflect on and discuss a long list of questions to accomplish the goal of identifying and articulating true points of differentiation. Rather, your team should tackle intensively a select group of questions that stimulate creative thinking and iterative refinement of your position statements and value proposition.