Tag Archives: differentiation

2 Things That Can Make Your Company Stand Out

This week, Elise Walker has a couple of things that will help your company stand out. Read on …

No matter what services or products your business provides, there are likely other companies with similar products or services that can detract from your business. But regardless of how similar other businesses may seem to yours on the surface, there are ways you can differentiate your company and services from theirs.

This is important so that you can draw in potential customers and give them reasons to pay attention to your company specifically. Here are a couple of things that can make your business stand out among the competition.

1.) Equate quality with your prices.

Do you charge a lower price with the same quality as more expensive products on the market? Or do you have a price that’s worth paying for, because your services or products are superior in some way? These are points you can use to win over customers. Whether your price is higher, lower, or somewhere in the average range of the competition, help your customers see they are getting real value for that price.

2.) Show you care about your customers.

Using surveys, a suggestion box, or asking customers if they are satisfied will all be in vain if you don’t act on their thoughts and complaints. Really, it would just be extra work for you and frustrating for them. If you hear about multiple customers having the same complaint about your service, or a product or its packaging, be willing to make improvements, if possible. It may cost a little more up front, but in the long run it will be worth it, as you will gain some loyal customers.

Quality customer service in itself is very important. Responding to questions and concerns in a timely manner can make an impression. Also having enough employees on hand to manage these issues promptly is important. Kindly training staff to be courteous and professional when dealing with customers is essential. People want to be taken seriously and get solutions when they need them, especially when it involves their money. If it’s not possible to help someone with what they want, being sincere and apologizing for any inconvenience, then offering to do whatever else you can, will go a long way with a person.

Differentiating your company with quality products or services for the price you charge, and showing your customers you care about them- and not just their money- can go a long way with gaining customer appreciation and loyalty. Here at The MAD House, we think it’s important for people to know your business is unique. Please contact us for more information on how we can help build your brand to keep your company growing.

Differentiation – or – How is your company/brand/product truly different from the competition?

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How is your company/brand/product truly different from the competition?

Janine Roberts helps us understand differentiation. Read on…

An important concept to remember when it comes to branding is differentiation – How is your company/brand/product truly different from the competition? When a product or service is perceived as indistinguishable from another, effective branding has not been achieved. Marketing campaigns need to not only show that a company offers what others do, but businesses also need to focus on the qualities that set their brand apart from the competition.

The 5 Ps

The primary areas where differences can be showcased are product, price, place, promotion, and people. A recent Gallup poll showed that these “five Ps” could influence a customer’s decision to go with a particular brand. If not for these factors, people tend to perceive different brands as the same.

Of the five Ps, the most powerful, by far, is people. This explains why one outgoing electrical contractor was able to get away with bidding higher prices than his introverted son who worked in the same field. The price was higher, but the people were different. Studies show that customers will be loyal to a product or service when they like the people who represent it.

Made on Principle

This could be based either on principle or on one’s actual experience with a business or person. The fact that purchasing decisions are often made on principle explains why businesses often cave under pressure when the ownership’s viewpoints are not politically correct. On the other hand, an example of the power of experience is the fact that people will often pay more for groceries at a store with friendlier checkers.

Contact us for help with showcasing the differences in your company, brand, or product.

Start Up Branding and Marketing

Start Up Branding & Marketing

Michelle Cardenas writes this week about branding and marketing for start-ups. Read on…

You are ready to launch your new business. An incredible amount of time and effort has most likely gone into creating a business plan, securing funding, preparing a location and hiring staff. Did you think to include a branding and advertising strategy as part of the company’s start-up budget? If not you probably need to break out the calculator and re-budget if you really want to succeed. 

Remember, you want to inform the public that a great event is about to take place. A clever strategy will generate interest. The public will be waiting expectantly for your doors to open. By the time you open for business, there is a curious public with the potential for becoming loyal customers ready and waiting.

How Much

That is probably the most frequently asked question about advertising. Every business knows they need to invest in branding, marketing and advertising. However, the price tag for investment usually leaves business owners scratching their heads. There are different methods to derive at a number. However, with a new business, some of the factors to plug in to formulas are lacking. For a start-up, it may serve a business well to trust the advice of experts at Iowa State University. They suggest committing about 20-30% of your annual budget to advertising and marketing for the first two years. 

Branding Effectively

To brand effectively, use a strategy that contains these three key elements:

  • Storytelling that uses language delivery in the manner a human brain prefers for processing.
  • Philanthropic purpose is indicated as strongly desired by consumers in the latest data. Take a stand for a good cause.
  • Separate from the pack. This means defining what sets your business apart from the competition. It establishes why a consumer should prefer to do business with you above all others.

The Value Of Experts

Effective marketing and advertising is critical to success for a start-up. Don’t under-estimate the value of investing this mission to experts. Please contact us and let us expand your own good ideas into even greater ones.

What’s the Difference Between a Differentiation and Differentiation Focus Strategy?

This week, differentiation is on MAD Contributor-Freak Martina’s mind.

If you’re not interested in lowering the price of your product or service, then you need either a differentiation or a differentiation focus strategy. The other two types of strategies for setting a business apart from competitors only work if you sell your product at the lowest price.

Differentiation is critical in business because consumers have so many options it’s overwhelming. They’re not living in a world where they only have 2-3 choices. In order to convince someone to buy your product, you must show not only how you’re different than the rest but why that makes you better too, at least from the customer’s perspective.

So, What’s The Difference?

The difference between a differentiation strategy and a differentiation focus strategy is the former considers the entire market, whereas only a segment of the market is relevant to a differentiation focus strategy. It’s easy to remember this variation because of the word “focus”.

Businesses that use a differentiation strategy determine how they are unique in their industry and what sets them apart from all of the other businesses in that industry. Differentiating your company from all competitors in an industry doesn’t matter in a differentiation focus strategy. What matters is you are unique to the section of the market you’re catering to. If you use a differentiation focus strategy, you only need to contemplate how to stand out in a certain section of the market.

How to Choose

Therefore, when it comes to choosing between a differentiation and differentiation focus strategy, your decision relies on whom you’re targeting. Remember these strategies are not just used for business branding but product marketing too. One of your products may require a differentiation strategy, whereas another needs differentiation focus.

Contact us to brainstorm differentiation or differentiation focus strategies for your company or product.

The Key Ingredient Your Start-Up is Missing

MAD Contributor-Freak Carrie Schuessler wants your brand to start out right.

You’ve put money into a facility, insurance, equipment and inventory. But if that’s all, your start-up isn’t ready to… well… start up. You’ve forgotten branding. It’s as if you’re about to publish a book without a cover. No matter the incredible content, why would anyone pick it up off the shelf?

Branding answers these key questions:

  • What do you offer?
  • How is it different from the competitor?
  • What promises are you making your customers?
  • What is your company’s “voice?” Quirky? Formal? Off-beat or straight-laced?

In his article for Entrepreneur, The Basics of Branding, John Williams writes,

Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and need you to be.

But why make branding a focus at the earliest stages of your firm’s launch? Why not focus on the nuts and bolts of the operation before delving into elements like logo design and packaging? In her article How Important is Small Business Branding Really? Jessica Bosari of Forbes writes,

Brand recognition is vital in securing business; a buyer can’t purchase your product if he can’t remember who you are or how to find you. The best companies are those whose brands are easy to remember and instantly recognizable.

How much should a start-up spend on marketing? The Small Business Administration recommends spending anywhere from 3 to 8% of projected gross revenues on advertising and branding, although many retail firms may need to spend as much as 20%.

We know what you’re thinking. Money is already tight. You can’t incorporate branding and advertising as part of your start-up company’s budget. But think again. At The MAD House we specialize in this very service at a very competitive rate. By hiring freelance talent from giant national agencies, we can put together an impressive branding campaign to suit any budget. Contact us today to get started!

Three Key Aspects of Unique and Purposeful Packaging Design

This week, MAD Contributor-Freak David Caissie gets wrapped up in some package design ideas.

Fiction: Most consumers make very informed choices during a shopping trip, having studied competitors and analyzed the benefits of each product very carefully. They thoroughly weigh the pros and cons of each brand and make the best choice suited to their individual needs.

Fact: Life is insanely busy for the average consumer! Most have stressful jobs, families, kids activities, social engagements, and plenty more on their plate literally every single day. There is simply no time to read labels in depth, analyze facts and figures, and make a fully informed decision on every product you buy. Studies prove that people actually do very little of this when they go shopping and usually make purchases based on things like color, style, and instinct more than anything else.

Properly understanding this level of consumer purchase behavior in itself is key to creating unique and purposeful packaging. Below you will find three more key aspects of this concept that contributes to overall better branding.

  1. Keep It Simple – We’re leaving off the last word to this classic marketing adage to not offend anyone out there with potentially thin skin. Simple design normally wins out over cluttered packaging and flashy symbols, colors, and other marketing jargon. Many package designers make the mistake of thinking they need something flashy to catch someone’s attention, but in reality its simplicity that customers desire most. People get yelled at often enough at work and even at home for the most part. They don’t need their products to be doing the same thing.
  2. Create Differentiation – It’s easy to confuse simplicity with conformity. There are simple ways of creating differentiation that don’t offend anyone and don’t come off as loud or confrontational. The use of cusps here is an excellent example. Cusps are clearly defined, sharp images around brand logos and other package shapes that tend to stick out in a customer’s mind. They are clear separators that people tend to remember as opposed to rounded, smoother images that eye tracking studies have shown people to merely gloss over without any sustained recognition.
  3. Emotional Attachment – Unique packaging creates an emotional attachment. It has something iconic or memorable in its design. There may be an image of a person with a particularly engaging smile or direct eye contact. The truth is that people gravitate toward the product they see as more of a reflection of their personality. Use this element in your package design effectively to create a unique bond with them.

“The Mad House” helps to build brand image and unique packaging design with a wide variety of clients. We value your business and offer a unique blend of refreshing creativity, decadent design, affordable pricing, and elite customer service. Please contact us today for more information.