Differentiation vs Distinctiveness

Differentiation vs Distinctiveness

This week I want to talk with you about brand distinctiveness vs brand differentiation.

Seems like the same thing right? You look up the word distinctive and the word different in the dictionary and they are synonyms for each other. But in the world of brand marketing, they are very different.

So, what are they?

Brand Distinctiveness is how easy it is for customers to identify YOUR brand within the marketplace vs Brand Differentiation which is how you set yourself apart from others.

Still doesn’t seem that different on the surface, but they are very different. Most marketers will have a style that will direct you to focus on one or the other.

But in my experience a more balance approach is necessary in the field of digital marketing. So, lets talk specifics.

Digital marketing is shifting day by day with the availability of ever changing technologies to help your clients find you. That’s where Brand Distinctiveness comes into play. This is put simply, your ability to stand out.

Lets use my own Agency as an example. When you think LionHeart Marketing, what pops into your head? I would expect more than likely, its my logo right? The Purple and Blue with the Lions Head.

If you were to continually search for marketers in my area, a few would come to mind The LionHead, maybe even an orange Quote Box, or even a yellow and gray Light-bulb (hint: these are other marketers logos in Alabama). The point is repetitive interaction with our logos make ‘us’ come to mind when you think marketer.

The same strategy can be used for any industry. Get your Logo out there. If you don’t have one, engage a marketer to design one for you or go to Canva.com (a marketing design site that has free services) and try your hand at it. Sponsor a cause or a local team. Engage with your community or even host a community event. And ADVERTISE it.

You cannot be distinctive or have people recognize you, if they have never been exposed to you before.

Which brings me to Brand Distinctiveness. What makes you different? Put another way, why should they trust you.

Again, I’m going to use my own Agency as an example. If you were to talk to me, visit my website, or if you receive mail from me, “I’m the Mental Health Marketer”. Boom, that is why you should trust me. In a short message, I have conveyed to you what makes me different and why that matters to you. It is what makes LionHeart Marketing distinctive from say “Marketing with a Purpose” (another slogan in Alabama).

How are you different from other services in the area, what do you specialize in or believe in that makes you the right choice over others?

All you need are one or two short statements that you associate with your brand and bam, you stand out. Your clients are looking for a personal connection with you. So give it to them.

In a nutshell, Brand differentiation and Brand Distinctiveness are two parts of a puzzle that help YOU stand out in any market. It can be as simple as Pick a Logo, Pick a Message, and Protect their image. Your message and logo are the face of your practice or company as much as you are and will work hard to help you build something to be proud of if you are loyal to them and what you say they stand for.