Differentiate Your Brand to Create Value

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In order to differentiate your products or services -- that is, to make them more appealing to your niche consumers than your competitors' products or services -- you need to know your consumers very well. The more keenly you know your target audience, the more you can differentiate. The more you differentiate, the more often you'll hit a bull's eye. This slice-and-dice, segment approach to marketing is always the way to go.

Build a Blue Ocean Strategy with Market Research

Blue Ocean strategy (a Zen approach that moves strategy into untested waters and thinks outside of the box) depends on excellent market research for its differentiation strategies. Competitive intelligence is a form of market research that can provide the necessary data to avoid Red Ocean (which is static and limited) thinking and will help you identify the different ways you can move your marketing approach into the coveted Blue Ocean way of thinking.

Create Research-Based Consumer Profiles and Personas

A target market can be further defined through the construction of custom-tailored profiles of consumers. A variety of market research techniques can be used to create these consumer profiles or personas, including those listed below. The reason this is useful is that you would naturally use a different kind of marketing strategy if you wanted to reach senior citizens over the age of 70 still wedded to land lines versus Millenials who are native to the digital world.

Case Studies That Differentiate Products and Services 

Companies that know how to conduct market research (and use the research findings effectively) are able to create a huge competitive edge in the marketplace. Because imitation is the highest form of flattery it's worth reading case studies from marketing-savvy big name brands that know how to use market research to their advantage for a variety of purposes.

Forecast Market Share for a Product Launch

To get ahead of the curve, you might need to figure out the best offerings for different market segments by using something called the Baynesian Market Simulator. This comprehensive toolset creates a network that "simulates" market share based on key characteristics and doesn't require new and often costly experiments. Many professionals have found that testing out different scenarios based on extant primary research is the way to go.

Develop Segment-Specific Business Strategies

The more you know about your target market segments, the easier it becomes to move consumers up the ladder to become evangelists who will advocate for your brand. This goodwill, ambassador approach to market segmentation takes consumer insights to a highly strategic level.