Standing out in a crowded market: Cultivating distinctiveness in your organisation

Standing out in a crowded market: Cultivating distinctiveness in your organisation Image
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The challenge of brand distinctiveness


Every single day, an overwhelming number of new brands and products are introduced to the market, each vying for attention and recognition. This often leaves customers overwhelmed and uncertain about where to invest their trust and money. The abundance of flashy marketing tactics, like those seen on Instagram, makes it difficult to distinguish between genuine offerings and empty promises. Have you ever fallen for a brand that appeared distinctive, with captivating marketing and seemingly impressive products, only to be let down when it came time to make a purchase or seek support? We’ve all experienced this disappointment.


To navigate this landscape, customers often turn to friends, online reviews, or directly approach the brand for information. But how can customers ensure they are receiving genuinely good products and not just empty promises? This is where truly distinctive services come into play. 


Brands that can substantiate their remarkable image with an equally remarkable and emotionally resonant customer experience are not only more likely to convert customers, but they are also more likely to cultivate customer loyalty.


How tech giant Apple stands out in a crowded market


Brands like Apple excel in this aspect. In fact, Apple’s exceptional performance is evident in their industry-leading customer retention rate of 92%. The key to creating brand distinctiveness lies in the ability to create products that people genuinely want and need, branding them in a way that connects emotionally, and then providing a top-notch multi-channel experience to bring it all to life. These three elements work harmoniously to surpass customer expectations and create true distinctiveness. For instance, the iPhone may be an outstanding product, but without the encompassing marketing and experience, it would be indistinguishable from any other mobile phone. In essence, it would lack distinctiveness.


It is important to highlight that all of these success factors revolve around understanding and addressing the needs of the customer. Apple, being a customer-centric business, is undeniably one of the key reasons for their valuation of over $2 trillion. For organisations aiming to become the brand that is always at the forefront of people’s minds, it may seem like a challenging task. However, there are a few tried-and-tested starting points. 

How to build a brand differentiation strategy

1. Understand your customers

Firstly, it is crucial to invest time in understanding your customers. This involves measures such as analysing your NPS results, evaluating customer reviews, and conducting thorough research to gain insights into their preferences and concerns about your services. However, to truly uncover what sets you apart, you need to go beyond these measures alone. Spend time delving deeper into the lives of your customers, understanding their values, the challenges they encounter, and the sources of joy that extend beyond the experience of buying your services. 


2. Craft a customer experience vision

Secondly, craft a customer experience vision. While your organisation may already have a company vision, it is crucial to articulate the experience you want your customers to have. This should be based on their needs, rather than solely focusing on what your organisation wants to achieve. Crafting this vision becomes a critical tool in aligning your entire organisation around the customer, which is the first step towards customer-centricity and ultimately achieving brand distinctiveness.


3. Think like a designer

Finally, adopt a designer mindset. Now that you have a deep understanding of your customers and their needs, and you have aligned your business around a compelling vision, it’s time to unleash your creativity. Think like a designer and craft an innovative service that not only resonates emotionally and looks beautiful on the outside, but also operates seamlessly on the inside. 

To delve deeper into the importance of distinctiveness in business, download a preview of our book "Customer Driven Transformation" and check out our accompanying podcast, Customer Experience Design, for more insights.

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