To make your product compete or outdo your competitors, you need to make sure that it can offer something different to your customers. However, another important factor you should also consider is acquiring customer reviews.
But before that, let’s first talk about product differentiation. Just how can we differentiate our offerings? What are the ways you can use to make sure that your product is different than that of the other products that fall under the same category as yours?
Before we proceed to answer those questions, you should first know that if your product can’t stand out from your competitors, then it will be hard to make sales. Product differentiation is what helps your product to get easily noticed by your target market. As much as possible, don’t let your product blend with every other product on the marketplace.
Unfortunately, most Amazon sellers are selling the similar product as that of their competitors. They don’t make use of any unique selling proposition or secret formula to stand out. What they just do is look for a manufacturer that creates a product or service in a particular niche, then sell it for themselves.
8 Ways of Product Differentiation
Fortunately, there are several effective ways that you can be able to differentiate your products. Without further ado, here are 8 differentiation strategies that you can use each time you market any product of your liking:
1. Differentiate by Origin
Although this isn’t applicable to all Amazon sellers, it can apply to a majority of sellers. Let’s take for example a handkerchief that labels itself as “handmade in Peru”. If you think about it, the major factor that makes this product stand out among the other products is because it has featured its origin.
Of course, while you just can’t source your product from a village somewhere in Peru, for example, you may be able to differentiate your product by simply including its origin. This acts as a major differentiator between your product and that of your competitors.
Another example lies in the company name. For example, the company Pet Naturals of Vermont has chosen to include Vermont as their origin instead of just going for Pet Naturals. For whatever reason, it somehow feels like it’s more natural, safe, and different than the rest.
That said, if your product is manufactured in a specific region, you might want to include its origins so it can get easily noticed.
2. Differentiate by Packaging
Let’s use the previous example, Pet Naturals of Vermont, for this one. If you search for their product, you’ll find that their packaging stands out than the rest of their competitors.
While most of their competitors offer products in a bottle, Pet Naturals of Vermont opted to use a bag. This helped them cut down on the overall cost, not to mention it also helped them stand out. In my opinion, the fact that they tied their packaging to that of their brand name “Naturals” would give you the impression that they are more on the biodegradable and eco-friendly side, which is always a good thing.
The next time you ask how can companies differentiate products, then take a look at your product’s packaging and think of ways on how you can make it stand out. Perhaps you might want to sell it in a cup rather than a bottle. Or perhaps use a packaging that has a unique shape.
Try to be as creative as possible, but don’t go too far out of the box that your customers might find it intimidating.
3. Differentiate by Size
Another way you can make your product stand out is by mentioning its size. For example, if you want your handkerchief to stand out, you might want to emphasize its size. You might use “extra large” or perhaps “extra small” to try to attract the attention of your customers.
In some cases, your product might just have the same size as that of your competitors, but none of them are using the same label to emphasize their product’s dimensions.
4. Differentiate by Branding
Although branding won’t guarantee that you’ll enjoy an increase in sales, you might be able to outdo your competitors by using better branding. This can be the case when your product is essentially similar to that of your competitor. By coming up with better branding, you might just be able to gain the upper hand.
For example, the Everest brand managed to create a branding that’s clean, simple and can evoke a sense of exploration and durability. Now let’s compare that with another company within the same niche – Bridger Supply.
I’m not saying that Bridger Supply is a poorly performing company. It’s just that what makes Everest outdo Bridger is the branding. Although Everest’s branding is clean and easy to recognize, Bridger’s branding is quite simplistic, not to mention it doesn’t give off the same vibe or feeling that Everest does.
That said, if you plan to outdo a competitor with a similar product, giving emphasis to your brand may help you stand out.
5. Differentiate by Capitalizing on a Competitor’s Weakness
If you want to gain some ideas regarding successful product differentiation, a good start would be to look at your competitor’s customer reviews. As you take a look at the reviews, you should check for any common weakness in their product or service. They can be used to gain a competitive advantage especially in your product’s titles, descriptions, and bullet points.
Let’s take a look at Egogo for example. When you check the negative reviews made by their customers, you’ll come across one specific complaint: its belt clasp tends to slip after adjusting, thereby requiring frequent readjustment.
Now, if it’s only mentioned once in a single review, then it wouldn’t be a problem at all. The thing is, multiple customers have made the same review specifically mentioning slippage problems. This gave me an idea of the weakness which I can take advantage of. Using that knowledge, I can use the words “slip-proof” or “non-slip” for the straps when I decide to market my own fanny pack.
If you’re struggling to differentiate your product from your competitors, you should choose from three of your competitors then check their reviews after. Check the reviews for common complaints then gauge if you can take advantage of them.
6. Differentiate the Product Emphasizing Its Feature
Although this might be the easiest option, it’s often overlooked by a lot of Amazon sellers. To make it easier for you, let’s use two different fanny pack products as examples: one from Egogo and the other from Value on Style.
The fanny pack from Value on Style includes a feature which says “Large adjustable strap up to 45 inches”. On the other hand, the Egogo fanny pack uses the words “travel”, “sport”, “fanny”, and “waist”.
Now here comes the problem. If you check Egogo’s listing, you’ll wonder if it can wrap around you comfortably or not. What’s interesting is that Egogo’s actually has a longer strap compared to that of Value on Style. The only difference is that Value on Style has mentioned it right from the start while for Egogo, you’ll have to scroll down the question’s section just to find that out.
Albeit having the exact same feature, Value on Style clearly highlighted it. So how can you apply this to your listing?
You can start by knowing if there’s an ingredient or material in your product that no other product is talking about. Find out more about that ingredient or material’s benefits and list them in bullet points or place them in the title.
The more you find out about the features of your products, the higher the chances of finding some of the features which you can use to differentiate that product from its competitors.
7. Differentiate by Adding a Simple Feature
If your manufacturer can customize your product, then you have the chance to differentiate your product just by adding a simple feature, or perhaps ingredient. It doesn’t have to be a major difference, just something that can make it different than the other products.
In some cases, you can tweak your product just by including a simple feature without affecting the overall cost of manufacturing it. As a matter of fact, the possibilities can be endless if you just learn to be creative.
8. Differentiate by Giving Bonuses
Another way to differentiate your product is to add an offer or a bonus. It doesn’t necessarily have to be big that it can eat up your profit margin. A simple bonus product will do just fine. By doing so, you can add a little extra value to your main product.
Let’s take a look at this fanny firm known as Elite Goods.
If you take a look at their listing, you’ll find that they offer a multipurpose scarf which you can use as a headband, mask, or balaclava as a bonus. There’s actually a lot of purposes you can use for this, but the message is quite clear – you get two products for a price of one! That can actually mean a lot for some customers.
Great Customer Service
This is also a very important detail if you want to highlight your product and brand in a crowded Amazon market. Do not forget that often customers come for the customer service, as at the present time, it is rather difficult to select the best product. In turn, a good service will help you get loyal customers, who will come to you next time.
SageMailer is exactly the service that will help you to establish a good relationship with your customers, moreover, it will help you to get more Amazon reviews and, as a result, to increase sales. And most importantly, it is all automated.
Now that you’ve known of the eight ways of product differentiation, the next step is to determine where the most lucrative opportunities for your product lie. It’s true that it will take a lot of time and effort, but the profits you can gain once your customers start to notice will certainly be worth it.
Just keep in mind that regardless of how useful or amazing your product is, your customers won’t purchase it unless they can see a number of positive product reviews. Getting a ton of positive product reviews is very important, but this can’t be done if you just make your product look just like the rest.