Differentiate Your Product

By Christina Suter on Jul 07, 2018 at 07:00 AM in Business Issues
Differentiate Your Product

What do you bring to your company that sets your product (or service) apart from a similar company? 

For years Coke and Pepsi have lead the market in the soda industry. Both have sold the exact product for years and aside from changing their bottles, logo, and typeface every few years, not much has changed. In fact, although there are people who only drink one or the other, they both sell dark cola sodas. But, they each have a market because they have differentiated themselves from each other.

Clarity of Product. Clarity of Message. Clarity of Price Point.

McDonald's is loud, bright, and somewhat uncomfortable, yet people stay because of the kid distractions that keep families staying because their kids are occupied. McDonald's offers a low-end product and therefore they give low-end customer service. A Lamborghini dealership offers a service and has people walking around serving you, they offer free WiFi and coffee, comfortable leather seats, etc. Lamborghini offers a high-end product and therefore has high-end customer service.

Don't confuse your clients. If your customer makes most of the decisions and does most of the work, like bussing their own tables at McDonald's, give customers a clarity of message. Employees, the market, and customers should all understand the product, the level of customer service they should expect, and clarity of what cost level the product is. 

Branding and Sales Cycles

Coca-Cola is the brand and they have numerous products inside their brand. They sell bottles at the corner store, syrup to restaurants, and packs of canned sodas in grocery stores. The brand is different from the sales; sales cycle is the 1st half of the customer journey. If you're going to sell a high-end product like a Lamborghini, there's a sales journey you take, at you first visit, sit in a few cars, have conversations with different salespeople, and you come back again to test drive and then to purchase. When you walk into McDonald's you're on your own to get in line, decide what you want, place your order, engage with someone who takes your order and you take your food to your table and then clean up after yourself. You interact with people for 2-5 minutes, they aren't there to cater to you. Make sure the sales cycle for your brand matches your product. 

Here's some homework for you:
1. Write down what your brand is... luxury or low-end? 
2. What are the steps of your sales cycle? 
3. Find your competition, understand what they do, who's behind their product, and familiarize yourself with their price points. What do they do well that you can adapt to your business?