Differentiate Your Product With A “Why” vs. “What” Approach

Differentiate your product

Are you looking for strategies to differentiate your product? There is one key shift you can make to change the way people think, feel, and talk about it.

It’s only natural for you and your team to focus on the “what” of your business. After all, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your product is in the app store, on the shelves, online, and on the minds of consumers.

You built the product. And you live your product every day. You know it inside out. You know exactly how it works. You know all the ways that your product is better than the others.

The only trouble is that no one else knows as much or cares as much about your product as you do.

Customers may use your product, but they don’t really live your product. They don’t know how it works inside and out, nor do they care to. In most cases, once your product meets their needs, they don’t give it much more thought.

So how can you differentiate your product?

What customers do think about, of course, is themselves. On the surface, they care about their standing in the world and what others think of them. Deep down, they think about what’s truly important to them and what makes them feel alive, specifically their sense of safety and security, their feelings of connectedness, and their need to grow as people.

A more empathetic approach to brand strategy

Most brands dance on the surface of people’s lives, playing only to their egos. But things are shifting and more and more brands are delving deeper into what people truly care about – and they’re finding success doing so. As such, those brands are forging more gratifying and enduring relationships based on meaning.

The key to this new approach is to focus on the positive outcomes that flow from your brand by answering theses questions:

– What happens as people use your product?

– What happens as a result of your policies with respect to workers and the environment?

One way to identify positive outcomes is to look at what you and your team are likely to think of as “key benefits” and to then ask:

– Why are these good?

– How do these help people feel more secure, connected, or able to grow as a person?

– How do these improve social conditions or the environment?

Ask more than once. Interrogate what you see as valuable until you reveal what others will find meaningful and why.

Use the truths that you discover to build a brand that matters. The closer and deeper the relationships you create, the more your brand will thrive. The meaning you embrace will be a beacon that attracts new customers, a glue that will bond people to your brand, and a North Star that your employees will be eager to follow.

If you really want to differentiate your product, move beyond the obvious and the known. Let your competitors lead with features and benefits. Rise above your industry’s standard way of expressing value. Focus not on what you make, but on what you make happen.

Tap into deeper meaning and thrive.

For additional reading, read our post on “Why You Need a Brand Strategy” and our white paper on transforming your brand.

Download White Paper

Emotive Brand is a San Francisco branding agency.

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