What’s Your Point of Differentiation?

by : 

Megy Karydes

June 1, 2015
Marketing Mondays - What’s Your Point of Differentiation?

Coco Chanel’s camellia flower is practically synonymous with the luxury brand that bears her name. Not only is the flower featured on handbags and jewelry designs, but in some cases, a camellia flower with ribbons graces the nicely wrapped box that the purchase comes in. It’s all part of Chanel’s mystique, and since each camellia is handmade, it makes the customer feel valued. What is your business known for? What unique thing do you do or offer your customers so they remember you?

Your point of differentiation is so important because it’s how customers, vendors, partners, and competitors view you and your business. Are you the one who always has Instagram-able merchandising displays or who gives everyone a fortune cookie with each purchase? Do you send out a weekly email that’s more about what’s happening in the community and places to go rather than being self-promotional?

Once you know what your point of differentiation is, how is it communicated? Synergy is the key to marketing what makes you special. If you give something to customers, like a fortune cookie, is it something you can add to your business card, website, receipts, or social media? Can you make it fun, like adding on Facebook that you just received a whole new shipment of fortune cookies so come and see what your fortune holds?

Playing off the fortune cookie idea, can you arrange an event around your point of differentiation, such as having readers come for a night for people to engage with your store or adding signage around shop that details what people in other parts of the world consider good or bad luck? The whole idea is to take your point of differentiation and run with it. Make sure people know about it, are talking about it, and remember you for it.

While it would make sense to be known for something that’s logical to your business, it doesn’t always have to be. One restaurant we love to dine at regularly gives all young kids a little toy right after we are seated. The toy items have ranged from a small stuffed bear to a little car with wheels that move. They’re not expensive but they are an expense to the restaurant, right? We dine there often because the kids know they’ll get a little gift, and we’re happy because the restaurant is telling us they value our business and welcome our young children. Plus, the toys keep kids engaged, so they are less likely to disturb other paying customers.

“I’d rather be someone’s shot of whiskey than everyone’s cup of tea.” A friend shared this quote with me last year, and it’s really resonated with me because we can’t be all things to all people. Rather than trying to make everyone happy, try to really show a few people why they matter. Your point of differentiation and how you market it will shine for those few people and the ripple effect will be much stronger than trying to market to the masses.

What’s your point of differentiation and how do you customers see it?

Megy Karydes is principal of Karydes Consulting, a boutique marketing and communications firm and freelance writer who often covers retail for various magazines. She likes her calendars, whether digital or on paper, and has her editorial calendar pinned to her board in her office to remind her what day it is! Find her on Twitter at @megy.