Strategic Marketing

Does Your Company Have a Meaningful Differential in the Marketplace?

differential marketing

Differential in the MarketplaceFashion designer Coco Chanel once said, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” How right she was. Do you know what your differential is?

One way to develop a corporate distinction is to understand why people buy products or services. According to Roy Chitwood, president of Max Sacks International, there are six universal buying motives. They are:

  1. Desire for gain: “If I buy and implement this technology, it will help me increase revenue.”
  2. Fear of loss: “If I don’t buy and implement this technology, my salespeople will be operating at a disadvantage, and I will lose revenue-generating opportunities.”
  3. Comfort and convenience: “If I buy this new mattress, I will sleep better and wake up refreshed.”
  4. Security and protection: “If I don’t conduct this risk assessment, my facilities could face threats from outside sources.”
  5. Pride of ownership: “When I open this new building, it will be state-of-the-art and will attract the attention of the community.”
  6. Satisfaction of emotion: “When I join the gym and participate regularly, I feel more energetic, confident and productive.”

When companies create their corporate distinctions based on a real understanding of why people buy, they are more likely to produce meaningful differentiations that translate into business growth. In other words, it isn’t good enough to say, “We have excellent customer service.” Companies need to go beyond that position to identify why their customer service is different from the competition and what the value or benefit of that deliverable is.

In his book “Create Distinction. What to Do When Great Isn’t Good Enough to Grow Your Business,” Scott McKain advises companies to focus on four cornerstones of distinction, which he says are clarity, creativity, communication and a customer experience focus. This makes good business sense.

Businesses are operating in a highly competitive environment, which makes it even more essential than ever to stand out from the crowd. That means consistently communicating your value proposition and distinction in the marketplace while offering proven and effective solutions to prospects and customers. It seems that the little difference makes all the difference. And remember, it goes beyond what you say to incorporate what you do.

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About the author

Gerri Knilans

Gerri Knilans

Gerri Knilans is president of Thousand Oaks, California-based, Trade Press Services, marketing communications strategists, serving B2B companies of all sizes and types. She has more than 40 years’ experience in sales and marketing, entrepreneurship, consulting, teaching and publishing. For additional information, please visit or send email to gerri[email protected]