Competitive Differentiation: Why it Matters

competitive differentiation

A Cornerstone of Any Successful Brand

Competitive differentiation. It’s something we stress a lot here, and if you’ve been following us and our work on how to brand your business, you know that we urge brands to make themselves as relevant and competitively differentiated as possible.

 

Sure, the product or service you are offering right now may be the only show in town, but that will not always be the case.

 

Past Examples

Just look at Netflix, back in the day they were a footnote to industry-giant Blockbuster. They were even laughed out of the room when they proposed a partnership.

 

But oh, how the times change. Netflix is now ubiquitous and Blockbuster very much a thing of the past (except in Alaska, but that’s another story entirely)*.

 

However, now that Netflix is king, it must pay attention to the competition (e.g. Hulu and Amazon Prime) to stay competitively differentiated, or else they may face the same fate as Blockbuster.

The product or service you are offering right now may be the only show in town, but that will not always be the case.

While some companies fail to foresee changes in their industry, others see them and embrace those changes as part of their overall brand strategy.

 

Today’s Landscape

Brick and mortar retailer Best Buy has outlasted its competition to thrive in the age of ecommerce by making itself as relevant and competitively differentiated as possible. In an article published by CNN Business, they examine the seemingly anachronistic success of the giant retailer.

 

Simply put, Best Buy focused on making visiting their store an experience. Under their CEO Hubert Joly, Best Buy has “…poured money into making its stores into a destination for shoppers and vendors like Amazon, Apple, and Samsung.”

 

Additionally, in recent years Best Buy has focused on improving overall customer service, as well as rolling out improved Tech Support and on-demand help and repairs programs.

 

This hasn’t just paid off for customers, Best Buys saw sales in its service unit up 14% over the holidays compared to last year. A sharp increase due to improvements in its brand positioning and strategy.

Brick and mortar retailer Best Buy has outlasted its competition to thrive in the age of ecommerce by making itself as relevant and competitively differentiated as possible.

A Comprehensive Experience

Best Buy smartly focused on what other, lesser stores didn’t. They made visiting their store a comprehensive and emotional experience different from other retailers, where superior service reigned.

 

Brands and businesses could take a page out of Best Buy’s playbook. By embracing positive changes, the store led themselves to successful competitive differentiation.

 

— Ryan Kelley, Brand Strategy Account Coordinator

*Editor’s Note: Since the time of this writing there is one Blockbuster left, in Bend, Oregon.

 

 

Spencer Brenneman, LLC
Copyright 2019
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Spencer Brenneman, LLC helps companies build their businesses through brand strategies that enable every project and every vital relationship to get off to the best start.Here’s where we talk about, think about, and conject about all the continually changing factors impacting your brand. Care to join the conversation? We’re always looking for guest bloggers!