Differentiate – but how?

It not sufficient nowadays for a successful product in a highly competitive market to differentiate only by so-called new “features”. To distinguish their product from the multitude of given product alternatives companies need to develop products that fundamentally differentiate from the competition. This finding describes Harvard professor Youngme Moon in her latest book “Different: Escaping the competitive herd” (Crown Business, New York, 2010). Most companies only imitate their competitors by variations or slightly improved performance. Thus in many markets more and more similar products appear with little distinguishing characteristics. This leads to a strongly declining brand loyalty of consumers. Only companies that rely first on innovative technologies and at the same time consider differentiation not only as a “product feature”, but see this as an attitude and mindset for their entire company, will constantly gain market share in the future. Examples of this show Apple, Red Bull, IKEA or Harley Davidson. Accordingly, the development of perceptible distinctive products and services does not begin in the design or marketing department, but is rather the result of a change process of the entire company.

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