If you want to stand out in a competitive environment, you need a branding strategy.
Do you know how to find your differential value? Keep reading this post!
No brand wants to be one more in the crowd. Therefore, you must find what sets you apart from the competition, this unique advantage over others.
In this article, we want to show you how you can find that unique quality that sets a brand apart. What we call its differential value.
To think about the importance of developing your brand, let’s go to the beginning: what value does a brand represent?
Steve MCNamara teaches us the following concept:
So we understand that a brand must develop certain aspects to create a differential value thats distinguishes itself in a crowded and competitive market.
Key points to create differential value of your personal brand
There are certain techniques that will help you during a thorough analysis of a brand’s position in market competition, and therefore, the differential value we’re looking for.
We can start by analyzing the variables of a SWOT matrix.
It is a very useful and simple technique that consists of creating a matrix with 4 segments: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
In each of them, list the characteristics that make up your brand identity (concepts, visual identity, user perception, market position, etc).
It is very important that at this point we research the perspective from the client side in order to find opportunities for improvement. When using a SWOT matrix to research, we have some great candidates. First of all, buyers, which are archetypes of user research. They’ll be very helpful at the time to express their needs and pain points they perceive from your brand.
While the precedent paragraph is most likely a UX Research task, we can start with some simple identification of basic needs.
Other resources to research your brand’s user perception can be focus groups, where a potential audience interacts with our product or service in moderated sessions.
Or we can take advantage of the value proposition framework and answer the following questions:
About the product
- What the product does
- How do you feel about using it?
- What makes the product work?
- What are their characteristics
From the buyer’s point of view
- What drives you to buy
- What must be hidden
- What rational aspects do you take into account?
- What are the risks of buying the product?
One important thing to consider: a differential value research has points of contact with UX research. But it’s NOT the same thing.
The first one dwelves in the perception a user has from a brand, by being exposed to different elements of brand identity.
Meanwhile, user experience research is quite different, and it goes way deeper. It considers your brand’s identity and the perception users have of your brand. Including, of course, its differential value. But it tries to get insights on how users experience your products, your brand, your customer experience (or CX) and many more.
Shaping differential value
After running the above mentioned processes, you’ll have some very interesting insights that will provide you with information. Once you have distinguished this competitive advantage, you can optimize your internal processes and your brand identity. For this, we’ll use brand image and brand awareness techniques.
So now we’ll be able to use what is known as unique selling proposition (aka USP). This process tries to summarize in few concepts what we extracted in the previous stage of the analysis of our business as well as our competitors.
This USP must respond effectively to certain aspects:
Relevance: explain how to solve the problems or needs that arise for our clients.
Specificity: we must be able to speak of concrete benefits, using quantifiable and objective measurements.
Differentiation: why should they buy your product and not your competitor’s?
Remember that a USP must engage with the customers in a natural way. It must be understandable for all kind of audiences, otherwise it will fail.
On the other hand, it must be part of a brand strategy and follow your brand guidelines. It must be perceived as a coherent part of your brand, without a shadow of a doubt. Use your brand’s visual identity to highlight ideas and maximize your value proposition.
Now ask yourself: what is your differential value? Would you like to boost the full potential of your brand?