It’s No Longer Just About Differentiation…

Better, faster, new


Competition in the market place is getting stiffer, customers are getting oblivious to promotions and therefore, differentiation is the key to stand out. Well, maybe.

Differentiation can mean having a new packaging design with brighter colours and a tagline that shouts “Newer”, “Better” or “Faster”, but does that encourage customers to purchase?

Customer behavior is ever changing and trying to meet customer’s expectations is what brands are on a continuous pursuit of. With every good or new experience they have with a competitor, they start to expect it from your brand. So how can brands keep up with customers to stay relevant to market needs?

It is seen in trends that brands are moving from being product or attribute centric to being experience centric. And experience centric means having customers feel attached or in tune with your brand’s beliefs, at all possible touchpoints.

Take car ads for example: Gone are the days where car advertisements shout out their new VVTI or Vtec engines. They now share the joy of a smooth ride with your family to that long awaited holiday destination. The car show room even has a little playground for kids to entertain themselves when Dad is busy test-driving the car.

Customers have positive thoughts about brands that share the same beliefs as them. But more importantly, they react positively to brands that give them the ideal brand experience.



  1. Think seriously about who are your customers. If your answer is “mass market”, think again. Not everybody will be attracted to your brand offerings. Who are your most natural audience that makes reaching out to them worth while?
  2. Create a service blueprint. What are some touch points to enhance that would delight your customers?
  3. Make a list of your differentiating points. Ask your management team write a similar list. Discuss how relevant it is to your customers, and how much advantage it gives over your competitors.

By Celestine Koh

Posted on March 14, 2014 in Articles

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