4 ESSENTIAL WAYS TO DIFFERENTIATE YOUR PRODUCT ONLINE

BE AMONG THE TOP 10% OF BRANDS  KILLING IT IN YOUR SPACE ONLINE.



In the last 2 years, my software company, Kitcart has created over 15,000 websites for businesses and startups across Africa. About 7000 of them are Skincare businesses. More than 3000 are into fashion. Another 3000 sell hairs online. This is just a fraction of the numerous brands in these categories 


In case you're wondering why I'm giving you all these numbers, it is because the market is shrinking and competition is becoming fierce.


You know the worst part. Most of these businesses are not innovative enough to come up with unique ideas.  A lot of businesses in most categories are very undifferentiated apart from their names. 



That's your competition. So if you can maximize this little piece of information it might be all you need to be ahead of thousands of brands out there because they're all playing the same ball game.


There are millions of businesses on the internet. There is nothing you want to start selling that nobody has thought of or is not already selling right now. At the same time, even though some markets are jammed, you can still enter and dominate them.


Your chances of success are highly dependent on your ability to stand out and be Unique. Here are four essential ways you can differentiate your products online.




 DESIGN:

The internet is a battleground for attention. Attention is the backbone of any business that wants to survive online. However, the likelihood of getting any attention is highly dependent on your ability to stand out from the millions of brands out there. Figuring out the aesthetic of your product, content, website, etc., is how you do that.



Design is intelligence made visible." -- Alina Wheeler, author.


The reason why the iPhone brand has the strongest effect In the smartphone market is because of its sleek design. Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future." -- Robert L. Peters, designer, and author. Design is a tool for creating identification. And that's how the big brands keep customers glued to them. They create a culture and a means of identifying with that culture using visual representation and mind-blowing designs. 



One of the biggest issues with the concept of product design and branding is that very few brands know how to utilize it properly For example, look at Coca-Cola and Pepsico Ltd.



THE COLA WAR

The cola wars are the long-time rivalry between soft drink producers The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo, who have engaged in mutually targeted marketing campaigns for the direct competition between each company's product lines, especially their flagship colas, Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Beginning in the late 1970s and into the 1980s, the competition escalated until it became known as the cola wars. Most people didn't understand the essence of this rivalry. It was a battle of Identity. The goal was to plant an awareness of both brands in the minds of their customers. And you can't underestimate the role that quality yet lousy designs played in achieving that.



Research has shown that 80% of customers buying decisions are actually influenced by aesthetical views of the products. Therefore, Design adds value faster than it adds costs. You should think of design as a long-term investment that will yield intangible, in some cases tangible results.





A LOUSY CREATIVE BRAND.


"Those who get the most attention make the most money". You've heard Grant Cardone say this a 1000 times. It's all about getting known. If nobody knows you, nobody will buy from you even if you sell long life and prosperity.



Operating a silent brand is a suicide mission. All these "I don't want to shout too much about my brand..." 

"I don't want people to see me as a crazy person..." Etc. Nobody knows a brand that is in oblivion. How do you expect to get heard since nobody knows you?



Customers are very predictable. That's why Robert Cialdini in his book, Influence; The Psychology of Persuasion highlights that People only trust people they like. Customers only buy from brands they trust and like. But building trust is a process, and it starts with getting known. Therefore, you have to find a way of making your brand known. This is where lousy creatives play a vital role.


P.S. By creative I mean your brand message or the information you're trying to convey to potential customers.


You need crazy creatives to get known. Today, we still talk about the crazy Ads that Pepsi and Coca-Cola did in the Cola War era. Till now the “Mama Do Good” Indomie Instant Noodles TV Ad lives rent-free in my head.

If your creatives are silent, you need to find a way or an angle at which people will quickly remember that you are the brand behind it. You can do that by making crazy commercials that can stick or creating mind-blowing content about your product or services.


 Shout out your brand as much as possible. Sometimes it's not because you're doing something new but because you are the one that shouted about it the most. People easily ally you and whatever it is you are doing.




 HAVE CRAZY OFFER.


A random X user tweeted about Hilda Baci's cooking class and an estimate of how much she has made from organizing the class. Let's be honest, even though I have no interest in cooking, I was tempted to pay for the class.


Did you see the offer? The best students go home with an iPhone 14 pro max and a cash price of N5,000,000. What's N35,000 compared to that? Not to talk of the free content creation course she'll be teaching herself as someone who broke down the Guinness World Book of Record Twitter page.


Honestly, I was surprised she didn't make more money from that offer. It was crazily irresistible. I know some people who borrowed money to pay for the class.



Attention is a goldmine, but a crazily irresistible offer is how you mine the gold. An Irresistible offer is a killer promise the customer will be stupid to reject. A Jawbreaking combination that the competitors can’t compete with. Great offers come as a big risk no one else dares to take — a challenge without a matching opponent. A unique story with irresistible offers crowns the Godfathers in the business. It is the holy grail of contagious marketing and viral sales.


If every other person is designing their logo for 10k, come up with a 1K logo. Let me shock you with this, You can even come up with the 200k logo. Find a way to edge your competitors with your offer.




FIGURE OUT WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE (Unique Selling Position - UPS)


  There's no formula on earth that I'm going to give you in a blog post that's going to give you that total differentiation you need to have. But your best strategy will come from proper research and a lot of being in the industry for a long time so that you're able to figure out what you have as an advantage that other people don't have.



Now, let's take a moment to self-reflect. What do you bring to the table that sets you apart? What skills, experiences, or perspectives do you possess that others in your industry don't? It might be your unique approach to problem-solving, your background, or even your passion for a particular aspect of your field. Your UPS doesn't have to be a singular entity; it can be a combination of factors. Perhaps it's the way you combine traditional methods with cutting-edge technology. Or maybe it's your dedication to exceptional customer service that goes above and beyond.



One way to gain perspective on developing your UPS is to look at successful businesses or individuals who have done it right. Study their journeys and identify the elements that make them unique. What strategies did they employ? How did they leverage their strengths to stand out? Learning from others can help you refine your own approach.



Finally, it's crucial to recognize that your UPS isn't static. The business landscape evolves, and so should your unique position. Regularly assess the market, your competition, and your audience's needs. Be open to tweaking your UPS if necessary. Adaptability can be a unique advantage in itself.



FINAL THOUGHTS


It takes more than just hard work and dedication to build a successful business. Having the right values and system is how to build one. For every passing time you spend not getting it right, you are giving some other person or brand out there the opportunity to throw you out of business.


Being able to Stand out from the crowd and be unique is your sure odd to winning the business war on the internet. Arm yourself with these weapons today and joy a rollercoaster journey to growth and success.



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