1.072010

how to differentiate

While you are reading this, I’m attending the Consumer Electronics Showces logo I’ll be meeting with clients and prospects, attending educational sessions, and walking the show floor — the last activity is one that I always find both exciting and frustrating.  Exciting because there always so many new and cool gadgets and technologies to check out; frustrating because so many of these new items tend to blend together into one big, indistinguishable, unmemorable morass of technology.  The brands suffer from the lack of remarkable and sustainable differentiation.

A couple of years ago after attending CES, I wrote an article called “How to Differentiate.”  It introduced a tool for carving out a differentiating competitive position.  The tool is a framework which indicates six possible levers of differentiation.  I’ve decided to re-post it now, since I believe the need to differentiate is as important — if not more important — than it was then.

Although the article talks about the consumer electronics category, business leaders and brand managers in all categories struggle with differentiation and so I hope all of you find it helpful.  Please read it and give me feedback — thanks!

(if by chance you’re also attending CES and would like to meet up, ping me on Twitter.)

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