A successful differentiation is not imitated by competitors, even if it brings you proven success with consumers. Sound impossible? Not exactly. I’m about to show you the secret unexpectedly simple and wonderful to successful differentiation: you must think the most important benefits of your product category. Think: Off-Core Differentiation.
“Basic security are the benefits that consumers already expect from a product like yours. Here is the list of” what is important for the consumer. “The advantage of the base” are the main benefits of the product. The main advantages of mobile phones today are much more than the ability to make conversation while driving. All this, consumers had already expected that the product is included in the basic benefits. They are offering benefits to all its competitors, and the core of the product and can not compete without them.
Precisely for this reason, if you really invest your efforts and are very bright and make a step forward in improving basic services – do you know what happens? You can follow quickly. That’s what happens. You have to understand: in this case, their competitors can not afford not to imitate. You could do the same thing.
Many companies have learned this way the hard disk:
Starbucks believes that coffee shops would be more comfortable and more like a neighborhood meeting place where all the chairs are not identical, and when he chairs and sofas. What a great idea! Today, it is found in almost all bars in the world.
Colgate Palmolive combined all the known benefits of toothpaste and created a whole. Innovation caught at all. I would venture to say he does not have a producer in the world, not imitate the idea, the first peak of P & G.
Safety: Volvo has made its mark on a benefit basis. They have done everything humanly possible! Investment without limits! And they did! Particularly successful in the competition so convincingly that it is very important to invest in security. Today nobody can say (with the exception of a few marketing exceeded), that the safety of the Volvo differentiation.
I could go on indefinitely, but I think I got the message. What should I do?
To create a distinction that can not be imitated, you have the greatest benefits (or potential) are considered important to keep its market. It works again and again. Companies that have managed to maintain their differentiation over the years and does not follow, even if they make huge profits are those who renewed qualities beyond the main benefits of their market.
In Canada, there is a newspaper that, under the authority offers no less than Time magazine, the best international coverage this side of the BBC. “The company is called Naked News, and news and current affairs more optimistic than 172 countries through the Internet and reaches a weekly audience of 34 million U.S. and many other millions of viewers in the United Kingdom, Australia and some other countries in the world. Naked News is also available as VOD over 1.4 million hotel rooms in North America, the Caribbean and Europe. The Naked News content is a day of mobile phones and portable devices. Naked News products cable / satellite and digital and licenses available in English, Spanish and
Most of what executives and other employees of the company is not exactly the message that their colleagues do in every newspaper in the world. But Naked News has a little something done differently, so some viewers to see (and pay a higher price!) You prefer. Tagged “The channel has nothing to hide,” Naked News attractive “are still people (and women, mostly young men) in politics, economy, sports and entertainment – all naked.
Differentiation in no connection with the main advantages of a newspaper. What they do to other sounds strange, even shameful and unrelated to their competitors. And therefore the chances of someone as they are small.
Now think about Apple. First, the differentiation of the operating system is easy to use with. This is very important to the customer! How are computer users more and more ordinary people and not for equipment, ease of use to a major focal point advantage. Microsoft could afford to imitate? Of course not! In recent years, Apple has changed course. However, differentiation seems designed for a sophisticated design, an approach to the computer as part of the Office is based, when the handset is part of a program. Is anyone in a hurry to emulate? Not really. In general, computers are less ugly, but not a significant competitor sees its computers as an opportunity for designers to get in the way Apple has wild.
What are you waiting for?
Virgin Atlantic is one of the examples that I like. When an airline (in the usual sense) is not better than other companies. No planes or more comfortable seats. It is very often not fly faster, better, do not serve food or offer a better planning of flights with British Airways, for example. But it is a company that almost always do things differently. But keep in mind – none of them relate to basic services in the category of “carrier”.
The result: although Virgin Atlantic has been successful for several years and has taken a lot of market acceptance and customers of its competitors to imitate British Airways is not. Why? Because Virgin Airlines seems ridiculous! (Remember: do not do things that are essential to the consumer) serious people at British Airways, say: “A massage on a flight from Who wants a massage on a flight that weirdo in the field of massage on Virgin Atlantic flights – is convenient for them!
Need more examples?
Swatch decided to treat the face and the group as a field of design. What to do with the main advantage of a clock? Exactly! So nobody has copied.
What about The Body Shop? There is no place for another cosmetics chain that actively fight against animal testing, the environment and for people in need, wherever they are. Nobody thinks of them to imitate.
The crowd and the mobile
Sometimes, on the basis of differentiation may ultimately be a big advantage. What happened to Nokia. This occurs when the differentiation is not really wacky, but it’s actually on a thorough understanding of market direction is in progress and future needs of consumers. Nokia has hit the world market with a classic approach in the nucleus. While Motorola was busy developing a better and more mobile phones, mobile phones would, Nokia envisions a popular product. If the people who bring the phone with them as they begin to go about their daily business, it is a garment, a fashion accessory. And so does the idea that Nokia is the world leader was born helped – the idea of removable disks, you can customize your phone to your clothes. It appeared to be a significant advantage of class time. Completely independent, to make a phone.
But if the technology of most mobile phone manufacturers like, began to compete for framing. Samsung has started to beat Nokia, with their own weapons. Recently, Samsung has joined with Vogue magazine and the designer Diane von Furstenberg are, in an attempt to put the phone in fashion. As I write, from Nokia on the market two times higher than Motorola (note that the advantage of Nokia to open in the situation? War), while Samsung is behind them. But Nokia has lost its differentiation.
Today, Nokia is looking for a new differentiation outside the nucleus, has been found yet. As a leader in the competition for the mobile phone as an entertainment center. This idea came naturally to the development of 3G technology, making it a significant advantage in the category. The sale of camera phones and 3G sales, the gap between Nokia and Motorola closes. What happens next? Time will tell.
We can say that few companies have leaders in the differentiation of nuclei. Not discuss this “more” and that “few.” In fact, most companies have never recommended, nor the need to develop. However, if you’re in a competitive market and try to live a strategy for go outside the base, the better chance you have to get a group of consumers a good reason for the dedication you want, and even a private monopoly given to them.
Open a window
I’m not trying to argue that the distinction between the main benefits is a bad idea if you can. A window of opportunity for you to begin to imitate them. For a man like Michael Dell, which was enough to become a billionaire. Dell has sold their way to the PC has changed. Michael Dell understood that from the time the personal computer (IBM clones with one hand and the vision of Microsoft in the 1980s, however) Standard – people buy the phone and on the web. Dell also understood that due to the normalized components of the personal computer anyway, you can put together to meet the needs of each user. It was not an off-core differentiation. Dell simply because they are the most important trends. Today, all computers are sold this way, but time had made this distinction in the world’s most brilliant.