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Learn how to differentiate your business from your competitors by example

Posted by Adriane Simon on Jun 23, 2016, 12:51:01 PM

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Learn how to differentiate your business from your competitors by example

Most companies are familiar with the first two ingredients to a killer marketing strategy: a deep understanding of their brand, and extensive knowledge about their buyer personas. But is your company overlooking opportunities to gain market differentiation from competitors? You need a unique selling proposition (USP) for competitive differentiation. Learn how to take your Aspen marketing efforts to the next level, using our favorite examples from some of the best in the business.

CoCa Cola

What they’re doing

Ever heard of the “Share A Coke” campaign? We thought so. It’s been giving everyone the opportunity to personalize their soda. The campaign began in Australia using 150 of the country’s most popular names, and has since become a worldwide phenomenon.

How they do it

Coke is dealing out personalization in mass quantities to accomplish market differentiation. They are using customers’ own name to form an emotional connection to their product. In other words, if you bought a Coke with your name on it, you did it because it made you feel special.

HubSpot

What they’re doing

HubSpot has been leading the conversation with marketers (their target customers) for years, whether marketers are aware of it or not. Their robust blog contains valuable, detailed and authoritative insights on the very services they offer to customers: marketing, sales and advertising.

How they do it

HubSpot is using inbound marketing (a term they coined) to establish an enormous following, and essentially equipping their customers with the knowledge needed to understand why they need marketing automation software. By creating best-in-clast, high quality content, HubSpot sets the standard for online marketing.

GoPro

What they’re doing

What kind of customer appreciates high quality images? Camera shoppers, that’s who. GoPro uses top-notch visual content to showcase the quality of their products to their 3.4 million YouTube subscribers and 6.8 million followers on Instagram.

How they do it

GoPro knows their buyer personas – people who enjoy vibrant pictures – and their USP lines up perfectly. They use visual content to power their marketing, and it works.

General Electric

What they’re doing

GE launched GE Reports in 2008, and the publication has since progressed from a blog to a full-bodied magazine with wide-ranging content – from energy and healthcare to music and art.  

How they do it

Rather than remaining a stagnant resource, GE Reports has continually raised the bar (as opposed to fizzling, like many other magazines of its kind) as the marketing climate evolves, turning it into one of the best global corporate magazines in existence. This evolutionary approach has earned its best story to date more than 1 million views.

Buffer

What they’re doing

This social media tool has created a blog called titled “Buffer Open” to bring transparency and openness to a whole new level. Nothing is off-limits, as the blog discusses topics like its own salary information, HR initiatives and decisions that many companies wouldn’t necessarily externalize.

How they do it

Buffer is using its own company as a guinea pig to provide specific solutions to specific problems encountered by its customers. This “culture of openness” acts as a catalyst to building relationships with customers, which is driven home by their informative and educational content.

Barbie

What they’re doing

The "Barbie: You Can Be Anything" campaign’s premise is simple: girls were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, and then given an opportunity act on their aspirations being placed in the various occupations they named (captured with hidden cameras). The campaign concluded with one of the girls (the professor) playing “university” with Barbies, and the tagline "You can be anything."

How they do it

Barbie has been fighting an uphill battle for many years, criticized as being sexist, archaic and outdated. However, this emotionally-charged campaign is one step on Barbie’s path to rebranding, and they nailed it. They are differentiating themselves by addressing their industry’s truisms (rather than avoiding them) and turning things around.

Honda

What they’re doing

Honda created a video depicting the dual life of one man entitled “Honda: The Other Side” to promote its Type R Concept. The video shadows a man’s double life as both criminal and dad, and how he uses his Hondas for each identity. Here’s where it gets clever: with the click of a button, viewers can switch back and forth between personas portrayed in the video.

How they do it

The two ads emulate each other along the way (similar sound cues occur throughout the video, for example). This engaging approaching encourages multiple views from a single user.  Using interactive video is a cutting-edge tactic to break away from the competition.

Whole Foods

What they’re doing

Whole Foods is using its blog to skillfully play its content (recipes and food tips) to a health-conscious audience.

How they do it

A blog geared toward its shoppers may not seem revolutionary, but Whole Foods is gaining competitive differentiation by planting seeds in its customers’ heads: “I saw a yummy recipe, now I have plenty of ideas for what to buy when I’m in the store.” This concept works for many company types, both storefront and online.


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