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How to Differentiate Your Brand in a Crowded Market

Sponsored Dec. 3, 2019 by Brandfolder

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Note: This is an excerpt from Brandfolder’s ebook, “Rebranding to Stay Relevant: Building defensible brands in the age of hyper-competition.” Click here to read the full eBook!

In today’s crowded marketplace, having a great idea or a powerful tool isn’t enough to ensure your brand rises above the noise. When an opportunity to close a gap in the market or supply a growing demand arises, ambitious brands will swarm it.

So what sets one product apart from a similar offering? More and more, organizations must identify clear points of differentiation, and reposition their brand persona accordingly. In many cases, rebranding is key to reigniting brand distinction and competitive edge.

Rebranding to Stay Relevant: One Dairy Good Example

When Chobani first hit the yogurt aisles in 2007, most Americans had never heard of Greek yogurt. The product was richer and less sweet than Dannon or Colombo, with less sodium and more protein. These health benefits resonated with American consumers, driving Greek yogurt from less than 1% market share to nearly 50% in just a few years.

How to Differentiate Your Brand in a Crowded Market

Then the inevitable occurred. Seeing dollar signs, Dannon and Colombo introduced their own Greek yogurt products. Soon countless other copycat brands followed. Just 10 years after Chobani was introduced to the market, sales began to decline. Mintel’s 2017 report on the yogurt segment unequivocally states that Greek yogurt’s “novelty wore off.” As a result, Chobani’s brand lost its competitive edge.

“Virtually everybody’s copied us,” said Peter McGuinness, Chobani CMO. “I’m not here to pick on the competition, but it’s not been good for the category.”

McGuiness’ hand was forced; he’d need to identify new points of differentiation to stay one step ahead of the competition. A rebrand, or as we’ll argue below, “an expansion” of the brand was in order.

How to Differentiate Your Brand in a Crowded Market
What is differentiation?

Product differentiation is a marketing strategy that uses a brand’s unique characteristics to its advantage when competing for audience attention and dollars. There are countless ways to differentiate, but here are a few of the most common:

  • Features — What can your product do better, faster, more simply, or more economically?
  • Proprietary technology — What innovation, patents, or other technological advances can only your brand claim? Proprietary technology gives brands an edge by being inimitable.
  • Design — Is your product more beautiful, more functional, or easier to use?
  • Customer service — Consider the entire experience around your product or service. How does your brand serve your customer better than anybody else?

Brands seeking to compete—particularly in crowded markets—can realize significant benefits by identifying and executing on a deliberate differentiation strategy. Many brand managers dismiss differentiation by saying they sell a commodified product. But all products can be differentiated. One proven tactic is rebranding.

That’s why we created the guide, Rebranding to Stay Relevant. We dug into 20+ famous rebrands and consolidated the most helpful takeaways in our eBook. You’ll learn:

  • The most common pitfalls to avoid when rebranding
  • How brands like Coors differentiated their product to stand out
  • Lessons on how to build a cult brand like Harley-Davidson
  • How Patagonia creates the most passionate consumers using brand values, and more!

Click here to download the ebook today!

How to Differentiate Your Brand in a Crowded Market
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