In today’s society, from fashion designers to celebrities, everyone claims to be a certain brand. However, both products and services must ultimately be tested by the market and consumers. Consumers will definitely ask: “What can you offer? What is the difference between your product and other similar products? Why do you say that your product is better? Are the values advertised by your product important to me? It makes me feel more Respect? What is the difference between your product and other products?”
1. Is it wishful thinking or cruel reality
In the 1980s and 1990s, major companies have participated in total quality management and process reengineering projects, and those companies that can survive into the 21st century, because of the role of these two projects, there is actually no difference. Of course, because these companies dare to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising, consumers are no strangers to these companies. But the real question is, can they really distinguish these companies from other peers?
It is true that differences definitely exist. Product differences must meet certain conditions: consumers know that there are such products and services, and the products and services really have a certain value. This value can exist objectively, can be subjectively perceived, can be rational, or perceptual. At the same time, this value must occupy a place in the minds of consumers.
In addition to basic functions, how much value does the product have? What is the significance to consumers’ lives? These two factors determine whether the product can be distinguished from other similar products. However, now there are fewer and fewer truly differentiated products and services.
2. Hard facts
To prove its point, Brand Keys used the loyalty participation index to analyze 1,847 products in 75 categories. This research comprehensively uses methods such as psychological inquiry, factor regression, and causal path analysis to integrate consumers’ evaluation data on products and services (evaluation data reflects the different degrees of positive and negative reactions consumers have made to products) After analysis, the study found a continuous axis. According to the difference between products and services, the position on the axis is different.
For example, 100% of soap brands are different, and 50% of credit card brands are different in consumers’ minds. However, nearly one-third of all the categories involved in this study have no difference, including banking, motor oil and other 20 categories. People know these products and services, but they are nothing special.
The study found that, on average, only 21% of the research subjects had products and services in which consumers could identify their differences. Compared with the 2003 study, the proportion dropped by 10%, and the latter has always been used as an industry standard.
3. Category differentiation
Different categories have different degrees of differentiation. In order to better explain the research results, we take a car as an example for further explanation. The proportion of car brands is relatively reasonable-38%. This means that there are many different car brands, such as Toyota (reliability), BMW (driving sense), Volvo (safety), Mercedes-Benz (prestige), Ferrari (speed). At the same time, this ratio shows that there are many occupying brands with small differences in the automotive industry. For example, Volkswagen and Ford.
Now, let us turn our attention to the banking industry, the difference ratio is zero. How is this possible? These big banks are spending a lot of money on advertising, and they all claim to be very ideal partners. Well, the answer is obvious: it is because companies are obsessed with mergers that have caused such painful consequences. After repeated mergers and acquisitions, people can’t tell who is who, let alone what business philosophy each company has. As psychologists have said, after cutting off the connection with history, what can be used to ensure the future?
4. Reasons for smaller and smaller differentiation
In general, why does merchandising appear unknowingly? The reason is: the behavior of marketers is not to gradually build the brand at all, but to constantly weaken the brand.
First, marketers rely too much on promotional activities. Due to constant pressure from sales departments and large retailers, manufacturers panicked and misappropriated the funds used to build the brand for promotional purposes, such as distributing coupons and gifts. These ideas can only make distributors happy. The more consumers want to buy cheap, the less attention they have to the brand.
Secondly, because marketers cannot control the so-called intuitive reaction of advertising companies, and advertising companies cannot focus on how to distinguish their own brand from competing brands, they usually fall into what we call two magic spells: the
first is the remote control magic. curse. Advertising agencies are very afraid of audiences changing channels while watching advertisements, so they use some techniques to prevent audiences from switching channels. For example, deliberately playing some jaw-dropping pictures, or acting out strange scenes.
The second is the curse of advertising awards. In order to win the coveted advertising trophy, the advertising company deliberately produced some show-off, funny, and entertaining ads. These advertisements did not convey clear and clear messages, and could not help consumers distinguish this brand from other brands. For example, a well-known research company, Copernicus, analyzed 340 commercial advertisements broadcast during the prime time period and found that only 7% of the advertisements clearly conveyed the differentiated message of the brand, which means that only 7% of the advertisements clearly stated The positioning of the brand.
Finally, although there are countless management consultants, they are rarely helpful when it comes to this topic. The reason is that they don’t know much about consumers’ minds, and the battle for marketing is unfolding in the minds of customers.
What the brand lacks now is the “unique selling proposition” used to say.