When we look around, we see products and services everywhere. There’s something new launching every day, but not all of it makes an impression on our minds. We only remember certain brands, and we don’t invest our money in half of the brands we know. It occurs because many brands fail to stand apart from their competitors in the market. We always go for the brands that have set themselves apart in terms of quality, reassurance, trust, price, technology, and many other rational and emotional factors.
The same happens with Industrial brands as well. So many companies are making products, promoting them, but your target customers only trust a few of them with their money.
Brand Differentiation plays an integral part in Industrial Marketing Strategy. It helps you stand out in a pool of competitors and get you noticed by your target customers.
In this blog, we will discuss branding and brand differentiation and create a unique place for your brand in the market.
What is Branding?
Branding refers to the art of creating a distinct identity of your products and services in the mind of your target customers. Thus, a brand is how your target customers perceive you, your product, and your company. Some of the common brand attributes for Industrial B2B brands are:
These are some of the attributes that can help you to create brand differentiation.
Why is Brand Differentiation Needed?
The answer to this is relatively straightforward; to stand out. There are multiples fishes in the sea for your target customers. Your competitors are constantly trying to capture the market. Some of them might have the edge over you regarding technology, innovations, marketing, thought-leadership, etc. Therefore, it becomes crucial for you to create a different identity to stand out in the market.
According to Hubspot, “The purpose of differentiation is to reduce the directness of competition by making the categorization of a product or service more challenging and inviting fewer comparisons with competition. By doing so, companies can make it easier for targeted market segments to find and (hopefully) invest in a product/ service that they’re offering”
Here are the following reasons for brand differentiation:
- To stand out in the market
- To create a better brand perception amongst the target audience
- To communicate your core benefits and unique value proposition with your target audience.
- To get ahead of the competitors in the market.
How To Differentiate Your Brand:
To differentiate your Industrial Brand, you need to brainstorm specific questions to paint a clear and distinctive picture of your brand.
Analyze Your Brand
The first step is to analyze your brands, your products and services, and your goals. Ask yourself questions like:
- Why I started this company and how I am going to help my target customers
- What are the core benefits my products and services will provide to my customers?
- How will I provide the core benefits?
Discovering the answers to the above questions will give you an insight into how you can present yourself differently in the market.
Analyze your competitors
Once you have covered all the questions about yourself, it’s now time to understand your competitors.
To differentiate your brand, you will need to:
Identify your competitors:
You can face two types of competitors in the market; Direct and Indirect. Your direct competitors are those that have similar products as you do.
Indirect competitors are the ones that sell alternative and non-similar products in the same target market as yours.
While creating a differentiation, you need to take both your direct and indirect competitors into account.
Observe how they are positioning their products and services:
You can start by analyzing what products and services your competitors are selling. How similar or different these products and services are from yours. When you have a closer glance at your competitors, you will understand how they describe their brand, tone, and voice to communicate the brand attributes, etc.
With the help of these observations, you will be able to determine how your competitors are positioning their brand.
What platforms they are using to promote their brand voice:
Promotion is always an essential part of branding. Proper channels play a crucial role in solidifying your branding efforts. The right channels are where your target audience is actively present and spends a reasonable period of their everyday lives.
Observe what channels your competitors are using to create a buzz for their brand. For example, what kind of content are they posting on different media? Also, observe the response your competitors are receiving on various media channels.
Steps to Differentiate:
Find your ideal buyer
The first step to creating brand differentiation is finding the ideal buyers for your brand. Finding your perfect buyer is a whole elaborated process that helps you draw a clear picture of your ideal customers.
To identify your ideal buyers, you will need to create a buyer persona. Buyer Persona is an elaborated document framework that contains fine details of your target customers. For example, it includes their demographical, psychographic, and behavioral attributes.
You can learn all about creating a buyer persona in our blog, “How to Create Buyer Personas for Your Industrial Company.”
Identify their pain points
After creating the buyer persona, it’s now time to focus on the pain points of your target customers. As we know, there is a reason behind creating a particular product. Your products and services should solve the current pain points of your target customers and make their lives easier.
So, figure out your target customer’s pain points and how your products and services will help them overcome those pain points.
Provide a solution to the pain point rather than just selling your products
One of the key ways to differentiate yourself from the other players in the market is to come across as a solution provider rather than a seller.
As a solution provider, you are considering your target customer’s pain point and making an effort to resolve those pain points with your products and services. It makes your brand customer-centric.
On the other hand, you created a product as a seller, and you want people to buy it. You are not helping them solve their pain points; you want to sell your products. It is the kind of brand image you should avoid making.
Win the trust of your target customers
Winning your target customer’s trust is one of the most crucial steps in creating brand differentiation. Your content plays a vital role in establishing trust.
The testimonies, customer reviews, case studies, videos, white papers, eBooks, blogs, etc., provide a channel to fill the knowledge gap between your target customers and your brand.
Therefore, creating content based on your customer’s pain points and focused on your solution helps to win your target customer’s trust in you.
Key Differentiating Elements of An Industrial Brand
There are some critical elements based on which you can differentiate your brand:
The most obvious way to differentiate your brand is through your products and services. During your competitive analysis, you will understand how your products and services are different from your competitors.
Use this difference as your key brand message. The difference could be:
- Your product is more durable
- Your products/services are more efficient
- Your products/services are more affordable
- Your product/service is innovative and packed with the latest technology
- The performance and ROI of your products/services are better than the competitors
Once you figure out the significant difference, you need to incorporate this into your Unique Value Proposition to create brand differentiation.
People refer to your workforce. It includes your senior management, engineers, subject-matter experts, project leads, sales team, marketing team, shop-floor technicians, etc.
The experience and expertise of your workforce are intellectual property that can help you stand you apart from the competitors.
In addition, the expertise of your people in terms of education, working experience, awards, recognitions, etc., can make your brand shine amongst the competitors.
You can use your website to showcase the hardworking team of industrial experts working tirelessly to provide the best experience to your customers.
You can communicate this through videos, interviews, podcasts, eBooks, white papers, press releases, etc.
Your process can be another differentiating factor for your brand. You can leverage how you make things happen for your customers and how it is different or better from your competitors.
Your process includes the entire roadmap of how you provide a solution to your customers. It starts right from when the potential buyer becomes aware of your products and services and is followed by customer inquiry and ends with customer satisfaction. It has everything you do from your marketing, sales outreach, and the minute you receive a query. It can include the steps like:
- How is your website focused on helping your potential customers solve their pain?
- How you communicate with your potential customer?
- How your sales team approach your potential customers?
- How you explain your products and services to your potential customers
- The material you use to gain trust, like testimonies, case studies, etc.
- Visiting customer’s sites to have a better understanding of their situation
- Giving them the best possible solution
- Supporting them even after the purchase
Your target customers want to buy from someone reliable. Therefore, it would be best to become a partner that they can rely on rather than a seller. In addition, describing your process will allow your target customers to have a closer look at your organization. It will also help you to draw an image of a reliable, trustworthy, and sincere brand.
The technology you use to create your products and deliver results can be an important differentiating factor.
As you know, we are living in the era of technology and innovation. There’s an innovation taking place every day to make people’s life easier. However, when it comes to industrial companies, the technology used in creating solutions can directly affect the quality, efficiency, durability, ease of operation of the product.
If you are using unique technology to create your solutions, you have an excellent opportunity to differentiate your brand based on this.
Brand differentiation is a crucial part of Industrial Marketing Strategy. Having great products and services will only help you if you have a voice to communicate their greatness. Unfortunately, we are going through times of cut-throat competition. Your competitors are constantly eyeing your market share and will not leave any opportunity to grab it. Therefore, brand differentiation is essential to keep yourself ahead of your competitors.
At Dijitale, we help Industrial B2B companies with marketing strategies. So if you want to start with branding and marketing strategy for your Industrial B2B company, you can check our services or contact us; we will be happy to help you!