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Brand Differentiation: 30 Ways to Differentiate Your Brand

Building a strong brand is the undisputed key to success in today’s business world, and robust differentiation is an absolute must to build a powerful and compelling brand. Brand differentiation is the means by which your brand is set apart from the competition, by associating a superior performing aspect of your brand with multiple customer benefits.

In terms of branding, differentiation can relate to any combination of the following from the physical characteristics of your product or service, to the emotional response your brand triggers, aspects of its presentation, its price point such as very high or very low, your brand story, and even the customer experience of your brand as a whole.

There are many ways you can differentiate your brand. The skill lies is developing and applying the most effective brand differentiation strategy in a way that appropriately reflects your brand’s personality, values, promise, way of doing things and key characteristics coupled with your core business objectives.


How to Evaluate Your Brand to Achieve Strong Brand Differentiation

Make Your Brand More Profitable — The One Most Customers Want Instead Your Competition

As you re-evaluate what you may need to do to differentiate your brand more effectively to drive growth, it’s important to remember that your brand is your psychology of influence, purpose, vision, mission, product/service hierarchy structures and productisation, perceived differentiators and positioning relative to competitors, purchaser personas, personality, values, promise, story, value proposition, signature language, messaging and organisational culture. The collection of experiences and feelings a ‘customer’ has every time they engage with your brand through its products, services and people that represent and champion your brand, on and offline. 

These are some of the key elements that all collectively make up what a powerful brand is, so it’s the job of visionary leaders, decision makers and thinkers to shape and manage that perception through their brand strategy and marketing because this is what enables you to differentiate whilst also underpinning organisational, culture, people and commercial success.

If your brand fundamentally lacks a strong value proposition, or sufficient personality or is simply very underdeveloped, particularly when you reflect on the brand constituents previously mentioned, then maybe it’s time to consider a brand audit or maybe your brand could benefit from some revitalisation or proper development of its brand strategy, and brand profile using a process like the Persona Brand Strategy Leadership™ framework. 

Your decisions must be made strategically, so both your business strategy and brand strategy are aligned. They need to be relevant to your particular products, services, or business goals – the ones that will strengthen your brand platform, and be most relevant and attractive to your ideal target customers – thereby increasing their loyalty and indeed referrability – because this is what ultimately enables you to grow your bottom line successfully.

Brand Strategy Process Results

Here are 30 ways to differentiate your brand from your competition, many of which we employ, amongst others not listed here, when developing and implementing our clients brand strategies. If you want help evaluating, developing and applying a robust brand differentiation strategy aligned with your business strategy to accelerate your growth then it might be worth having a chat with an experienced brand consultant , so you can get things done faster and more effectively.

30 Ways to Differentiate Your Brand

1. Price Differently

Varying the price of your products or services from the competition can be an effective differentiation strategy. You can be either the economy bestseller with a low price, or a premium brand with a high price – such as Starbucks, which prices coffee higher to increase perceived quality. In fact, many brand differentiation strategies can help you charge and receive a premium price. It’s worth noting that an economy pricing strategy, like that used by Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, to differentiate, typically requires high volume sales and deep pockets, so it may not be the best option if you are operating with leaner resources or can’t generate the right profit margins. Singapore Airlines on the other hand implements a very contrasting pricing strategy compared to Ryanair, yet both are very successful, highly differentiated brands.

brand differentiation premium pricing

Image via © Singapore Airlines, Suites

Image via © Ryanair

2. Mine a Niche

Niche products or services have built-in brand differentiation, and the marketing for them should reflect that niche. A good example is GoPro, which makes body-mounted video cameras and markets them to sports people. Mining a niche to differentiate your brand more strongly is often a very effective strategy for more modestly sized businesses because you’re working with leaner resources. Offering products or services in a very specific niche where you become the known subject matter expert can be a very effective differentiation strategy, however it’s important to ensure there is sufficient market demand or opportunity to create demand so you can achieve your revenue targets. 

brand differentiation

Image © GoPro

3. Be the Expert

If your brand is the best at something in your industry, you can differentiate by focusing on your expertise. Domino’s Pizza provides differentiation through its expert home delivery and 30-minute guarantee. Alan Weiss, known as ‘The Million Dollar Consultant’ is one of the world’s most highly sought consultancy experts. His clients have included Mercedes-Benz, Merck, Hewlett-Packard, New York Times, and over 200 others, typically primarily from the top Fortune 500 league. He is the author of 64 plus books that have appeared in 15 plus languages, and has been interviewed and quoted extensively in the media worldwide. 

His sharp insights, unequivocal expertise, quirky characteristics, unapologetically candid perspective and consistently excellent results differentiates him from most others — in what is a very competitive and saturated field. 

He’s proactively built his brand with deliberate intent, all of which ensures he is in demand and commands a premium in whatever channel he works, whether it’s consulting, speaking, online learning programmes, media interviews or books sales. An example of his premium pricing strategy for more affordable access to his expertise is the very popular book ‘Value-Based Fees: How to Charge What You’re Worth and Get What You Charge’ with its digital list price of US $75.

This is an expert who clearly differentiates his brand very effectively and has reportedly said, “My belief is that, among my writing, recording, and interviews, if I’m not causing someone, somewhere outrage and discomfort daily, then, well, I’m just not doing my job.”

brand differentiation

Image via © Alan Weiss

4. Deliver a Unique Point-of-Purchase Experience

Give your customers a memorable buying experience, and your brand will stand out. Children love cuddly toys like teddy bears and other stuffed animals, but they love them even more when they’re part of the whole build experience and can create their own stuffed animal right in front of their eyes. The Build-A-Bear Workshop has differentiated and flourished with this strategy. You can read more about what the founder Maxine Clark did to achieve this in a previous blog.

5. Distinctive Brand Collateral

Your brand collateral can be a key aspect of differentiation. A memorable, instantly recognizable brand identity that’s not typical of your industry segment or category can be very effective at adding differentiation. For example, Johnny Cupcakes, a unique apparel company in the US, sells its branded t-shirts with a baking theme, including both the way in which the clothing is merchandised and the packaging in which you purchase your clothing – ovens, bakers shelves and cake boxes! You can read more about Johnny Earle’s strategy, the founder, here.

6. Use a Mascot

Brand mascots can be powerful differentiators, especially if you want to bring a sense of humour to your brand perceptions. American Insurance company GEICO has built massive success with its mascot, created in 1999 – a talking lizard that has nothing to do with insurance. His nostalgic charm has won the hearts of many as he tells people how to save on their insurance. This mascot still makes millions of people believe there’s something different about the company. He was even voted America’s favourite advertising icon in 2005.

brand differentiation

Image via ©

7. Heritage and Provenance

Brands can differentiate through strong associations with their country of origin. Many UK brands are noted for a timeless, classic appeal, brands from Switzerland are often associated with craftsmanship and precision, Irish food and beverage brands are often associated with high quality natural ingredients and German brands are viewed as reliable and well-engineered. A compelling example of a brand with its provenance strongly tied to its heritage is Thunders Bakery. It’s an unashamedly ‘Dub’ brand, deeply rooted in its community and the customers it serves in those Dublin communities throughout the city. You can see this evidenced throughout their site and stores from the tongue-in-cheek cake names, product descriptions, customer service interactions and even on it’s FAQ page.

brand differentiation

Brand Strategy Leadership ProgrammeImage via © Thunders Bakery

8. Innovate

Innovation can be a key brand differentiator. This type of distinctiveness is more readily associated with tech brands – Apple is synonymous with innovation, ease of use and enhanced life experiences, SalesForce captured the largest market share with an SaaS-based CRM. Even more modestly resourced SME brands, like Child Paths, can innovate, as evidenced by their leading status as Ireland’s number one education compliance and management software for early years. However, innovation isn’t limited to technology because fast moving consumer goods or FMCG brands can also differentiate with innovative packaging and/or different product solutions such as O’Egg and their innovation with the humble egg, namely their liquid egg products and white shell eggs.

brand differentiation

Image via © Childpaths

9. Create a New Product [by Renaming it]

Offering your customer something entirely new is a great way to differentiate, and you may not have to change significantly what you’re selling – perhaps just what it’s called. Tyson Foods – the world’s second-largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork – began selling chickens that were much smaller than average. The product might not have caught on if they’d called it “miniature chickens,” so they marketed them successfully as “Cornish Game Hens” instead. 

Wavin is a global manufacturer of plastic pipes, largely for drainage, sewage and water supply purposes. Even though it’s a long-established brand with a highly engineered sector leading product, it’s still suffered the challenges of poorer quality, lower priced construction sector ‘pipe’ products eating into its sales and market share. A modification in its name in the Irish market to Wavin Premium, supported by a full sector re-education and marketing campaign, helped re-establish its pre-eminent position and successfully differentiate itself from its competitors — all of which enabled it to achieve higher sales and market share in a highly competitive sector.

brand differentiation

Image via © Tyson

brand differentiation

10. Be the Underdog

A lot of customers love a good underdog story and will connect with you through your ‘David and Goliath’ brand story. Emphasizing your brand’s humble beginnings can help you differentiate, especially if your competitors are focused on being the biggest and the best. Successful founder stories with an underdog aspect include Nantucket Nectars’ “only a blender and a dream,” and Amazon CEO’s Jeff Bezos launching his “everything store” from his garage. Sir Richard Branson has launched the Virgin brand into multiple sectors with a ‘David and Goliath’ strategy – challenging the perceived big guys and the status quo – as the ‘customers champion’.

brand differentiation

Image via © Virgin

11. Make it Convenient

Convenience can be a big brand differentiator. Something that makes life much easier for your customers often makes you more desirable than the competition in a category, product or service related, where prompt delivery or customer response is highly sought after or expected. Consider a lot of the utility suppliers, be it internet or heating related for your home, most are appallingly bad in customer response and service. If a supplier entered the market who rigorously supplied a premium, convenient, frictionless service, there would be a segment of the market that would move to eliminate the hassle and peace of mind — relative to the general, dreadful alternatives. Amazon is an obvious big brand example of convenience, but other brands, such as, have banked on differentiation through convenience and won.

brand differentiation

Image via ©

12. Consistently Over-Deliver on Customer Service

With all other factors equal to your competitors, consistently superior customer service and exceeding expectations can differentiate your brand. Online shoe store Zappos commands a premium price tier because of their outstanding customer service, including free shipping and free returns. Its customer service ethos was so deeply embedded into the brand culture that it recruited talent with a strong bias towards customer service excellence and even offered Zappos Insights to other companies looking to improve their customer service capabilities. In fact, the brand has been so successful that it expanded into handbags, eyewear, clothing, watches and kids’s merchandise before Amazon eventually bought it.

brand differentiation


13. Stand Out on Shelves

Really strong brand packaging can be an obvious and effective differentiator, in fact, it can make or break your brand. If, for example, you use black packaging as Rachel’s Organic did with its butter when they initially launched to market, your brand will be distinctive amongst all the gold, silver, yellow, red and green packs. Consider the ‘simple honesty’ of The Ordinary brand’s black and white packaging. It’s entirely reflective of what the brand stands for — integrity, transparency, accessibility. Conversely, the brand stands out because of its unadulterated yet highly efficacious, quality products in a very saturated skincare market that overpromises in typically glossy, richly coloured packaging. 

14. Tell Your Unique Brand Story

Every successful brand has a compelling story behind it. Fully developing and emphasising your brand story can help you differentiate, be central to your brand DNA, and reinforce the personality, promise, purpose and values of your brand. The truth is, strong brand stories embed core brand messages in people’s memories far more effectively than facts and figures alone, so if you want your brand to attract, engage and retain your primary target audiences’ attention then you need a compelling brand story to hook and sustain them.

Creating irresistible brand stories is a key part of our brand profiling service when working with clients to help them create and build the personality of their brands. In fact, it’s one of the key elements within the Persona Brand Leadership Framework™ using the proprietary Stellar Story System™. Whether you’re looking at big brand stories like the centuries old story of Guinness, relatively recent Airbnb or that of the highly successful, fifty plus years old, SME, Thunders Bakery in Dublin, each of these stories differentiates the brand from its competitors. The story in each case embeds the brand into it’s target audiences’ minds, so its the first choice that comes to mind whether you’re thinking of savouring a pint of stout, planning your next trip away [vacation or work related] or indulging in a mouthwatering treat to celebrate a special occasion.

Image via © Thunders Bakery, Dublin

15. Solve a Universal Problem

If your brand addresses a problem that your primary target audience can envision or relate to, you’ll achieve stronger brand differentiation. TOM’s shoe brand took on the issue of children in need, by donating a pair of new shoes to a child for every pair of shoes purchased. This not only massively differentiated the brand, but emotionally engaged its audience by making corporate social responsibility live within the heart of what the brand stands for and created immense customer goodwill and brand loyalty.

brand differentiation

Image via © Toms

16. Appeal to Emotions

Your brand can stand out by delivering a highly emotive experience that’s associated with your product or service. Coca-Cola capitalises on emotional appeal by branding their products as ‘happy’, implying it’s the maker of joy and harmony. Everything Coca-Cola does from a strategic branding perspective is to associate the brand with ‘happy occasions’.

Akeso Healthsearch is a modestly sized SME providing its services in a sector that’s probably under more pressure in recent years than ever before with a lot of big competitors to contend with. Its target audience are both Heath Care Professionals and Providers who are on the front line dealing with human challenges in their rawest form. It differentiates itself by acknowledging and engaging with its clients in a world that is almost vocational in its people commitment, so its emotive message reflects their collective humanity.

”Healthcare work is rarely just about the work. It’s about the people, the colleagues we collaborate with, the organisations that bring us together and ultimately the patient care and outcomes that inspire us.”

brand differentiation

Image via © Akeso Healthsearch

17. Be (Relevantly) Shocking

Aligning your brand with shock value can help you differentiate, but judiciously use this strategy with care. The outrage you can generate from a shocking brand should be directed positively, toward your brand and what you stand for. Italian fashion brand Benetton’s has infamously used shock campaigns multiple times over the years to raise brand visibility, such as with their “Unhate” campaign, which managed to anger the U.S. government, the Vatican, and many other organizations – but it was a compelling hit with customers. Ironically, it was perhaps ahead of its time because over ten years later, in todays world it would probably not have the same shock value at all.

18. Change Your Customer Experience

If your industry is known for a certain type of experience, you can differentiate by making your customer experience different. GEICO succeeded in the insurance industry, which often uses serious approaches and scare tactics, by creating a whimsical and fun marketing strategy with talking animals. Southwest Airlines injected quirkiness and enjoyment into the cookie-cutter world of travel. Consider what might happen if one of the big utility companies actually made frictionless great customer service an integral part of its brand experience, rather than the opposite that is typically the modus operandi in many markets.

19. Make it Personal

Personalisation helps you differentiate your brand and is an even more essential factor for brand retention. It allows your customers to make your products or services their own through interactive buying experiences, higher levels of customer service, coupled with personalised digital marketing strategies like retargeting and pre-targeting that offer the right products or services, to the right people, at the right time. 

Love it or hate it, even with all its potential risks to humanity, AI is here to stay and becoming more ubiquitous in its penetration throughout so many aspects of our lives. Most of us are already exposed to it or using it at some level on a daily basis. It is fundamentally changing how we work and live. While unavoidably sitting at the heart of heated expert, statutory and congressional debate in multiple jurisdictions — because AI could advance to the point where it develops superintelligence sufficient to manipulate people, gain power and usurp humanity to destroy the world — there’s also the fact that its capabilities could and are being used for good.

AI can, and is, being used to make personalisation and customer experiences uniquely tailored to a customer’s specific preferences or needs in real time, so even if you run a modestly resourced business, you could potentially use AI to help you make your customer’s experiences with your brand a lot more personal and consequently differentiate your brand more effectively, relative to your competitors.

20. Link to an Occasion

Another way to differentiate is to build up your brand’s association with a particular occasion or celebration. Cadbury’s is synonymous with Easter, De Beers is equated with Valentine’s Day, and Christmas (in the United States, at least) can’t happen without the Macy’s parade and Coca-Cola virtually invented the big red suited man at Christmas along with a multitude of other ‘happy occasions’ throughout the year. However, you don’t have to be a big national brand with deep pockets to successfully link your brand to an occasion. Amongst many Dubliners in Ireland, occasions with friends and family are ubiquitously associated with Thunders Bakery, and one of their personalised special occasion celebratory cakes.

21. Personify Your Product

A slightly different strategy from brand mascots, brand personification involves creating a “character” that represents the characteristics of your brand. Green Giant vegetables has done this successfully with the Jolly Green Giant, while Keebler snacks are personified through the Keebler Elves.

22. Give Back

Customers, most notably Millennials, typically love to get behind a brand that gives back to the community. By emphasising corporate social responsibility (CSR), you can differentiate your brand and get an edge over your competition such as O’Egg’s support of ‘Action Breast Cancer Ireland’. 

Saba Dublin, another very successful and modestly resourced SME has made ‘The Saba Way’ an integral way of how it does business, looks after its people and serves its customers — coupled with giving back through doing ‘good works’ such as its support for Friends of the Earth, Anam Cara, The Christina Noble Foundation and Crumlins Children’s Hospital.

brand differentiation

Image via © Saba Restaurant, Dublin

23. Go Green

While community generosity is often an important part of brand differentiation, depending on your sector, product or service, a prevailing number of today’s customers are also very concerned about the environment. Differentiating through sustainability, the circular economy, green packaging, green manufacturing, or even environmental charity can help your brand stand out, particularly if your brand is in a sector not readily associated with these important attributes.

24. Break Away

You can differentiate your brand by moving away from the conventional wisdom surrounding your industry and delivering an opposing viewpoint. Odour control brand PooPouri accomplished this by abandoning discretion in their marketing and embracing all things poo – with lots of toilet humour. However, this strategy is not for everyone or brand for that matter. It does need proper due diligence, careful evaluation in the context of your brand strategy, what your brand stands for — along with a willingness to weigh up the risks of stepping out into the limelight controversially.

25. Redefine Your Product or Service Use

If your products can accomplish more than one thing, the alternate use can help you differentiate your brand. As an example, Arm & Hammer was just another baking soda until the brand began marketing the idea that it also made an excellent air freshener along with a multitude of other uses — all of which your grandmother probably knew but were forgotten about by subsequent generations.

brand differentiation

Image via © Arm & Hammer



26. Simplify Your Customer’s Lives

Simplicity and purity are highly prized in today’s extremely noisy, often polarised and very cluttered world. Marketing your brand as a simple pleasure can help you rise above the noise. The Method brand of cleaning products uses this strategy, providing naturally derived and non-toxic household cleaning products that simply work. This simplicity is underscored by their tagline: “people against dirty.”



brand differentiation

Image via © Method



27. Provide Higher Quality

Luxury brands are able to command premium pricing through an emphasis on higher quality products – either actual or perceived. Providing luxury is an automatic brand differentiator for most markets, but it does require a strong brand strategy and often considerable resources to develop, apply and activate consistently.


   brand differentiation



28. Limit Availability

While it may seem counterintuitive to profits, limiting the availability of your brand can actually help you sell more, at higher price points, through differentiation. When customers perceive that not everyone will be able to have a product, demand and perceived value increase. Ben & Jerry’s premium ice cream employs this strategy with limited production runs for some flavours, and by “retiring” flavours after a certain period of time. DENT ensures its services are oversubscribed, with access limited to those who fit their ‘perfect customer profile’.

29. Reposition Your Category

You can differentiate your brand by developing a new category that falls within your industry. In the United States, the National Pork Board accomplished this with a campaign slogan: “Pork, The Other White Meat,” which appealed to customers who enjoyed red meat, but didn’t care for chicken. The campaign also made pork more appealing due to the health issues previously associated with red meat consumption.

30. Serve an Unmet Need

An effective way to differentiate your brand and reach a broader audience is to identify a need that isn’t being met, and fill that need by tweaking or repositioning your offerings. Enterprise Rent-A-Car became the top car rental company in the U.S. when they began to offer a leasing option – when none of their competitors did.

The question is, what could you do to provide an unmet need for your customers, be it product or service, so you can not only differentiate more strongly but drive higher growth in another, or new revenue streams?

Perhaps a chat about your brand strategy and what you could do differently to drive more growth might be worth considering.

So, what do you think?

  1. How does your brand differentiate from your competition?
  2. What could you change in your brand strategy to differentiate more strongly to drive consistent growth?
  3. Is your packaging distinctive or stand-out in some way? How could you change that?
  4. What does your brand do to differentiate your customer service? 
  5. Are there new audiences you could reach through differentiation? 
  6. What would it take to reposition as a luxury brand and differentiate through added value? 
  7. What other strategies could you implement to achieve stronger brand differentiation so you can increase your profits?
  8. How could you use a brand audit health check to re-evaluate your current baseline and amplify or develop additional, stronger brand differentiators to driver greater growth?

brand consultant

1. Identify and agree your brand’s differentiation objectives aligned with your strategic plans

Identify and agree your brand’s differentiation and growth objectives aligned with your strategic plans, so you can can develop your brand differentiation strategy to achieve your commercial targets. Brand differentiation strategies also typically entail addressing culture development, employer branding and talent attraction, where needed.

2. Evaluate your current differentiators, so you can establish your brand’s baseline to move forward

Evaluate your current brand differentiators, so you can establish your brand’s differentiation baseline from both an internal and external perspective using a brand audit to inform decisions — where are you now, where do you want to get to, validate assumptions right or wrong, who is competing in your market, what are your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for growth. The outputs and recommendations are then used to inform your brand differentiation strategy build [whether a new brand, brand revitalisation or rebrand] and brand differentiation implementation plan.
Brand Audit Results

3. Map out your brand as a highly differentiated standout entity to influence customer choice

Map out your brand as a highly differentiated standalone entity, so you can identify and clearly articulate what measurably sets it apart and makes it distinctive, credible, trustworthy and very desirable, because this enables you to increase your influence and attract your ideal customers consistently — increase your profits.

The Persona Brand Building Blueprint™, a proprietary framework, utilises a consultatively facilitated and co-creative process that also entails re-evaluating your differentiators, positioning and value proposition coupled with productisation (service or product related), so you can maximise on upsells and cross-sells. The outputs are captured, developed and distilled in your Master Brand Strategy document, so you have clear direction, strong brand differentiators coupled with messaging frameworks to draw from for your marketing activation and brand differentiation design application to drive growth.

Brand Strategy Results

4. Develop and apply your brand differentiation and implementation plan to drive faster more profitable growth

Develop and apply your brand differentiation and implementation growth plan using your Master Brand Strategy document and Brand Audit insights. Together these provide your brand differentiation direction and creative briefs, ready for application in both your marketing campaigns and brand design execution. 

The scope of your Brand Implementation Plan is determined by your strategic objectives, timelines and resources. Your brand differentiation project brief, whether marketing campaign or design execution focussed, is an output from your Master Brand Strategy document, and provides the essential direction and application details aligned to your organisational strategy, so your deployments and activations are tightly managed within those contexts. 

This avoids the hazards of subjective choices with marketing or design going off track or getting caught up in distracting gimmicks that produce short term or zero results because they’re not ‘on brand’ or aligned with what your brand stands for or fully focussed on your achieving your brand differentiation and strategic plan. 

It’s important to remember that the quality of your results achieved are dependent on the quality of the outputs from your brand audit and brand differentiation strategy, coupled with the resources you choose to leverage and assign to the project. 

A great brand differentiation strategy or really insightful brand audit is not very useful if it’s not fit for purpose and tailored to your organisation’s size, requirements and resources, i.e. the people and finance you can harness to get the job done.

Brand Strategy Process Results

5. Internalise your brand building, differentiation capabilities and skills to increase profits consistently

A strong brand consultant working with you to differentiate your brand, so you can increase your profits, is also focussed on preventing problems and inconsistencies that could undermine the business, before expensive or compromising brand issues arise. This means that internalising your brand building, differentiation knowledge and skills through both leadership development, internal team brand working sessions, training, mentoring and brand ambassador up-skilling is also an important factor to help you consistently achieve growth.

This overall framework ideally includes providing ongoing leadership direction to achieve and sustain your brand differentiation and internal team advisory support to enable you to mitigate vulnerabilities, increase your profitability and grow your sales faster. 

Ideally this is done using an ongoing process that tracks and measures against agreed milestones, objectives and key performance indicators so that refinements can be implemented where needed fast.

Want to discover more about working with a highly experienced and expert brand consultant to differentiate more strongly, so you can build your standout, highly profitable, №1 brand? Go from good to great!

  1. Schedule an appointment — we can meet in person online
  2. Let’s consider what you may need to differentiate more strongly and a customised plan for you
  3. And perhaps implement your brand differentiation plan together
  4. Contact us: [email protected] or +35318322724

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Your Top 20 Reasons for Needing a Strong Brand Differentiation Strategy

If you can identify with one or more of these problems listed below in the context of your brand differentiation and organisation or business, then now would probably be a good time to have a chat with an experienced brand consultant:

  1. Profit erosion e.g. inflation and competing on pricing, features and benefits with no strong compelling differentiators to drive higher premium profit margins
  2. Dropping sales, leads, enquiries or conversions
  3. Lost relevance relative to competitors or changing customer preferences
  4. Launching a new product or service to market but not sure how to differentiate, stand out to attract, convert and retain customers
  5. Expanding into new markets nationally or internationally with a lot of new competitors to differentiate from
  6. Changing your business model 
  7. Business merger or acquisition
  8. Confused customers or increasing customer complaints
  9. Challenging market conditions forcing you to compete on price
  10. Increasing competitor threats 
  11. Outgrown your current brand so require rebranding or a brand refresh so you can differentiate strongly to drive growth
  12. Failing to achieve your strategic plan or organisational objectives
  13. Inconsistencies across the business, causing internal and external confusion that results in poor sales results and missed sales targets — confused customers don’t buy
  14. Struggling to attract and retain top talent because you’re organisation hasn’t differentiated strongly enough to get the right people
  15. Lost in a market of mediocrity and sameness because your brand is so similar to all the others
  16. Insufficient understanding of your brand and brand differentiation strategy to drive growth at leadership and/or team level
  17. Lack strong customer profiling to inform your business strategy and brand differentiation strategy
  18. Weak inconsistent brand assets or brand collateral e.g. website, packaging, videos, social engagement, adverts, presentations, sales scripts, messaging etc.
  19. Downsizing or consolidating your business, products or services
  20. Lack a coherent brand differentiation strategy to drive growth

Top 10 Outcomes From Achieving Strong Brand Differentiation

Here are the top 10 outcomes that businesses can expect from achieving strong brand differentiation: 

  1. Increased Brand Recognition: A differentiated brand is easily recognised and memorable among its primary target audience or customers. This is particularly important in crowded markets
  2. Greater Customer Loyalty: When customers identify and connect with your brand’s unique attributes, they’re more likely to stay loyal and continue purchasing your products or services
  3. Competitive Advantage: Strong brand differentiation makes your brand stand out from competitors, giving you an edge in the marketplace. It’s particularly important when entering a highly saturated market
  4. Higher Market Share: If your brand stands out and attracts more ideal customers, you can expect an increase in your overall market share
  5. Improved Brand Image: Strong brand differentiation leads to a better brand image, because customers view your brand as unique, superior, and more desirable compared to competitors
  6. Increased Customer Engagement: When your brand is highly differentiated, customers are more likely to engage with it, whether through social media, reviews, or word-of-mouth referrals
  7. Premium Pricing: If your brand differentiation strategy is built around superior quality, innovation, or service, you can charge a premium price for your offerings, so boosting your profitability
  8. Effective Marketing: Having a differentiated brand makes your marketing more effective, as it enables you to create powerful, resonant messages that highlight your brand’s unique value proposition along with its features or benefits
  9. Stronger Stakeholder Relationships: This includes not just customers, but also employees, partners, and investors. When they understand and believe in what makes your brand unique, they’re more likely to support and advocate for your business — be your brand champions
  10. Long-term Business Growth: Ultimately, all these benefits contribute to sustainable long-term growth. Differentiated brands are better positioned to withstand market changes, expand into new markets, and launch new products or services.

These outcomes demonstrate why brand differentiation is a vital strategy for any business or organisation wanting to thrive in today’s highly competitive marketplace, locally or globally.

Leverage the expertise of a brand consultant, so you internalise the key brand differentiator principles and apply them to your brand differentiation strategy to consistently drive growth.

Brand Strategy“Lorraine Carter has been the catalyst and an inspiration for MGI Learning to clearly define our brand.

Working with Lorraine has been both enlightening and enjoyable. Her blueprint for defining a brand is extremely comprehensive and challenged us to think very deeply about what we offer to our customers and really understand what underpins our success.

Lorraine is extremely knowledgeable, very focused and supportive and leads you through the process and ensured we got maximum benefits from the investment we made.”

Shona CooperCEO

Brand Differentiation FAQs

Brand Differentiation Frequently Asked Questions

What is brand differentiation, and why is it important?

Brand differentiation is about standing out, being highly influential, credible, trustworthy and likeable with a very compelling value proposition that your ideal target audience finds irresistible, so they see your brand or organisation as the best and preferred choice in the market — most importantly, they are NOT making decisions based on the lowest price.
Brand differentiation is the process of distinguishing your brand from competitors by emphasising the unique aspects, attributes, or benefits your brand, service or product, offers. It’s crucial because, in today’s competitive market, customers are often faced with multiple choices. If you don’t provide a compelling brand differentiator, then customers default to price based decisions — typically the cheapest. Strong brand differentiation enables your brand to stand out and be the preferred choice, whilst also charging more and achieving higher profit margins. It creates a unique brand identity that resonates with your primary target audience, makes your brand memorable, and builds customer loyalty.

How can I identify my brand differentiators?

Identifying your brand differentiators starts with a deep understanding of your business, your customers, and the market. Begin by evaluating your products or services, business values, customer service, and company culture. What makes you unique or superior to your competitors? Next, consider your customers’ needs and wants. What do they value? Use customer feedback and market research to gain insights. Finally, analyse your competitors. What are they offering, and where are the gaps that you can fill? The intersection of your strengths, customer needs, and gaps in the market are where you’ll identify your unique brand differentiators and form the basis on which you build your brand strategy to drive growth.

How can I effectively communicate my brand’s differentiation?

Once you’ve identified your differentiators, it’s crucial to effectively communicate them to your target market. This is done through developing and applying your brand strategy. Your brand strategy provides the direction for your marketing campaigns and design execution. It enables you to evaluate and develop your most effective marketing channels, including your website, social media, advertising, PR, content marketing, and more.

You use your brand strategy to develop a consistent brand voice and visuals that reflect your brand personality, so you can differentiate effectively to stand out and drive growth. Your brand strategy also enables you to craft compelling brand messages that highlight your differentiators and why you are the best choice. Storytelling is also be a powerful brand differentiation tool – share stories that demonstrate your unique values or benefits, so you embed your brand into your ideal target audience’s minds. Engaging with your audience through interactive content and personalised communication also enables you to communicate your brand’s differentiators and so enables you to increase your profits.

Can brand differentiation increase my market share and how?

Yes, brand differentiation can certainly increase your market share. By distinguishing your brand from competitors, you attract more customers who value your unique offerings. Brand differentiation also builds customer loyalty, leading to repeat business and referrals. Furthermore, it positions your brand as a leader, the best choice or innovator in your industry, potentially attracting a larger audience. All of these factors contribute to increased market share, so you can Become The One, the number one preferred brand in your sector.

What are some successful examples of brand differentiation?

Thousands of brands have successfully differentiated themselves both large and small. For example, Apple differentiates itself through innovation, sleek design, and superior user experience. TOMS Shoes stands out by combining quality products with a social mission – for every pair of shoes bought, another pair is donated to a child in need. Thunders Bakery, Dublin differentiates itself by personalising every customer’s celebratory occasion, making it even more special and memorable.

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“For anyone who has a well established business, I would totally recommend working with Persona Design because it will provide them with a new perspective on how to think of their brand. You see in different markets and industries that are overly competitive, what makes the difference is knowing what exactly your business is all about and why people would choose you instead of any other competitor.


What makes you different from all the other service or product providers in the market because that’s what’s going to make your business be the No.1 choice in the range of those specific products or services that you’re providing. Also, that’s what’s going to make your brand stand out and have a long-lasting life and thrive in the context of where you’re operating and delivering value. So totally go for it!


This framework provides you with a lot of insight and more than that, with a systematic process that’s easy for you to understand, easy for you to grasp, easy for you to work with, so you finally nail what makes you different in your business, and what you are about and what those key points are that resonate with your audience.”

Camelia PăduraruFounder

Brand Strategy Leadership Programme

“We participated in the Persona Brand Strategy Leadership Programme online. The 12-week program suited us, as the weekly accountability spurred us on to get work done between sessions.

We found the flow of the course appropriate for the development of the brand through the various areas of the business. Already, we have developed our Customers Personas and our Brand Persona adding value to the business.

The course has helped us make more astute decisions in the business, such as restructuring our product offerings, so we grow more profitable lines and remove those with lower margins.

Lorraine is very helpful and accessible as a tutor, with follow up after each live working session and the half-day masterclass. Most of all, the clarity achieved has been most invaluable.

In the first two weeks of March 2020, before Covid-19 required us to close, we were 300% up in our online sales compared to the whole of March 2019. By the end of May 2020 [after being completely closed for 6 weeks with our 150 staff furloughed] we were back to 69%, and by end of June 2020 back at 108%, January 2021 we were up four-fold on January 2019 

— results achieved from applying our brand strategy.”

Sinead HeffernanManaging Director

Got a question, want to talk about your brand differentiation or how to stand out to drive growth?

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    Your Persona Client Satisfaction Guarantee

    1. When you work with us, we’ll create a customised brand-building plan and strategy with clear investment for you tailored to your specific requirements and preferences
    2. You’ll know each step of your brand building journey before we start because we’ll discuss it, document it, and agree on it with you before work commences
    3. You’ll have timelines, key milestones, and deliverables to evaluate and approve for each stage and part of your brand building process
    4. Because we know the unexpected sometimes happens we can make adjustments along the way if you need it and if something extra is requested we’ll ensure you’re fully appraised about what that entails before committing
    5. As we achieve pre-agreed objectives you’ll be able to evaluate your brand building work and strategy in progress, coupled with the outcomes to ensure return on investment
    Get in touch today because we’d love to get started helping you build your standout, powerhouse brand, so you can increase your profits and leave your competitors far behind. Email us [email protected] or ring us +35318322724 (GMT 9:00-17:30) and ask about the Persona Brand Leadership Framework™ to drive growth.

    Three Ways You Can Work With Persona Design to Differentiate More Strongly, Consistently Attract Your Ideal Customers, Build Trust & Achieve Higher Revenue

    Persona Branding & Design Are Highly Experienced In Creating Brand Differentiation

    Brand Consultant Services – Building Your Brand For You

    Working with you, we build bespoke brand frameworks for your specific organisational needs to drive your growth. Brand strategies that make your brand highly visible, profitable, different, distinctive, credible, memorable, valuable and much loved — creating your ideal customer brand magnets to underpin your growing success. Whether you’re re-evaluating an existing brand, planning an exciting new launch, refreshing a solid revenue driver to maintain relevance or considering a total rebrand, you can tap into decades of award-winning expertise with a brand consultant that tailors specifically for your needs to ensure your success, so get in touch today [email protected]

    Branding Programmes and Courses to Empower You to Build Your Brand

    eProgrammes and eCourses developed from over 20 years plus of brand building expertise, leveraging big-brand know-how using the modular Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ system. All the Persona Design programmes use proven processes — tried and tested by highly experienced brand consultants with decades of successful international brand building to drive growth with transformational brand building frameworks — created to help you achieve your growth objectives. Whether you’re building a new brand, re-evaluating an existing one because it needs a health check or rebranding an older one entirely, these programmes enable you to make your brand more profitable and successful.

    Brand Leadership Workshops & Events to Drive Your Growth

    Branding is NOT marketing or design but part of the underpinning strategy aligned with your business strategy. Brand strategy informs and directs your marketing campaigns and design execution, so the Persona Design Brand Leadership Frameworks™, speaking, brand building intensives, mentoring and workshops are built as transformational catalysts because this ensures you’re empowered to build a more profitable and highly successful business.  When your brand culture thrives vibrantly throughout your organisation — across leadership, marketing and your way of doing things, then your team is inspired and enabled to be your best brand ambassadors and creators of great customer brand experiences — so your business becomes a stronger powerhouse.

    Lorraine Carter, Lead Brand Differentiation Strategist

    Brand Consultant

    As lead brand consultant Lorraine Carter, Adv. Dip. Des. TUD, MMII, MIDI, MICAD, is an expert in brand building to drive commercial growth and high performance. Founder of Persona Branding & Design, she’s won multiple awards over the last twenty years working with brands on national and international markets, many of which are household names.

    Brands small and large like: Version1, University of Greenwich, Nestlé, Kerry Foods, Eurofound, Enterprise Ireland, Law Society of Ireland, Radisson Blu, SOLAS – the State agency tasked with building a world class Further Education and Training (FET) sector to fuel Ireland’s future, AMCIS – the Admissions, Marketing & Communications Association for Independent UK Schools, Tesco, Castle Brands, Aldi, Wavin, Massey Bros., Thunders Bakery, MoveHome, Dr. Tanya Pergola/Terrawatu, Abberley Luxury Yachts, Saba and MGI Learning to name a few.

    “She enables you to become your ideal target audiences’ favourite No.1 brand — product, service or corporate entity — and a super savvy brand builder.” – Ozana Giucsa, Founder Tooliers

    Lorraine’s methodologies and systems, such as the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ System and How to Build a Brand Programme are used globally and also feature on The Economist Group platform [Persona Branding & Design own the IP].

    Her skill lies in enabling you and your team to build commercial resilience and leverage new trends, to make your brand highly visible, different, credible, trusted, memorable and much loved amongst your primary audiences, so you go from good to GREAT — Be The Oneleave your competitors far behind because you’re the preferred premium priced brand of choice as you grow your brand and revenue sustainably and faster.

    The focus is on taking under performing or under-leveraged brand entities (personal, corporate, product or service B2B and B2C) and, working with business leaders, owners, managers and entrepreneurs to transform them into more successful highly recognised and trusted brand names much liked and admired amongst their primary audience.

    An international branding expert and professional speaker Lorraine is also a masterclass leader, advisor, M.Sc guest lecturer, facilitator, published writer, designer and mentor. She creates, facilitates and delivers programmes in effective brand creation, building and management, is Winner of Best Blog Ireland of an SME and is also a former winner of Business Woman of the Year, Dublin and listed as one of the top 1,000 Women of Influence in Ireland in the Irish Tatler Business Annual.

    She’s worked both on and off camera with state broadcasters and independent producers and has directed hundreds of still shoots in Ireland and overseas. She’s also featured in The Sunday Business Post Newspaper, ICOGRADA, Irish Times Newspaper, Law Society Gazette, Design&Design, Retail News, Creativ Verpacken, Irish Packaging Year Book, Irish Tatler Magazine and various TV, radio and podcast interviews.

    Get in touch today because we’d love to help you evaluate how you want to you build your standout, powerhouse brand, so you can increase your profits and leave your competitors far behind. Email us [email protected] or ring us +35318322724 (GMT 9:00-17:30) and ask about the Persona Brand Leadership Framework™ to drive growth.

    Latest From The Award Winning Blog

    B2B Value Proposition
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    “I recently organized a large Business Forum for business owners and stakeholders entitled ‘After the Storm – New Business Opportunities’ to highlight the challenges and changing face of doing business in 2013. I was delighted to engage Lorraine Carter to speak at the Forum as I have seen first hand her expertise in Branding and Design.

    More importantly I know Lorraine as a Professional Speaker who delivers not only excellent content but is passionate about the positive financial impact of great branding and design.

    Lorraine’s talk entitled ‘Brand Your Way Out of Recession’ was extremely well received. Her clarity, eloquence and use of storytelling evoked clear examples of how both big, medium and even small businesses have reached the top with successful use of effective branding and design.

    I’d recommend Lorraine as a Speaker at your next event or conference. She is an expert in what she does but more importantly she is an expert who knows how to speak about it!”

    Sharon Cahir | Author Solicitor Lawyers and Leaders Coach and Trainer

    “I have had the benefit of working alongside Lorraine Carter with mutual clients and will happily do so again.

    Lorraine understands the power of brands for businesses in a way that makes practical sense to businesses. Her dedication to her craft is a great credit to her along with her attention to her clients and the details that matter.

    Lorraine understands how to work with people who don’t work with brands on a daily basis and above all Lorraine has a bottom line value orientation. I look forward to continuing working with Lorraine and her team at Persona Branding & Design.”

    Dave Gribben Enable Better Business


    “The Maguire & Paterson brand was established in 1882 and therefore the rebranding and new packaging had to be managed in a very sensitive and caring manner.

    Persona Branding & Design worked very effectively with the M&P management team ensuring that the findings of consumer research were correctly interpreted and factored into the brand revitalization and new range designs. We found their ability to steer us of significant benefit.

    Persona Branding & Design also ensured that we kept our focus on core objectives and diplomatically challenged us at various stages on our thought process, ensuring that any brand preferences did not stray from the core objectives.

    We would have no hesitation in recommending Persona Branding & Design and we would be very pleased to speak with any potential client(s).”

    Neil ScaifeHead of Commercial Control | SHS Sales & Marketing Ltd


    “Lorraine Carter creates meaningful and immaculately designed brands based on a deep subject matter expertise.  She, through Persona Branding & Design, provides a world class professional services for all sized enterprises.

    Her understanding of target markets results in memorable and distinctive work that empathises with end customers. Lorraine brings a uniquely positive energy to every meeting that leaves her clients engaged and delighted.

    Emmet SavageFounder and CEO | Rubicoin

    “Lorraine Carter is a true marketing professional. She is highly creative and has delivered impactful, innovative brand solutions for my business for almost a decade.”

    Rita AhernManaging Director | Food Matters


    “Persona Branding & Design supports our company with an excellent level of creativity in all areas of branding, design and marketing. They listen, understand and interpret our needs perfectly with a formidable proficiency in execution. It is only fair to say that our company expectations of original briefs have always been exceeded.”

    Andy MulloyManaging Director | Connemara Seafoods Ltd

    Caterhire-500px“I have worked with Persona Branding & Design for more than 8 years. They have become an invaluable extension of our team, working with us in a flexible, intelligent and pragmatic way.

    Once commissioned, they became part of the business extending their expert opinion and brilliant creative solutions in total harmony with our requirements which has achieved great results. This is important since it is often the detail that can make or break a business relationship.  Their work philosophy is the best contract a client can hope to receive.”

    Gavin DivillyManaging Director | Cater Hire Ireland Ltd

    Wavin-500px“Persona Design successfully applied their extensive branding experience from consumer goods directly to an important industrial B2B product range within our organisation. This was pivotal in the formulation of our brand communications strategy which also included design, packaging, point of sale material and brand promotional plan, all of which contributed to a very successful commercial outcome.”

    Michael O’DonohueCountry Director | Wavin Ireland Ltd

    “Lorraine is an excellent start to finish project manager with tremendous creativity and ability to work budgets and timelines effectively.”

    Kelley SpillaneSenior Vice President | Castle Brands

    Country-Crest-500px“I can’t say enough about the excellent work that Persona Branding & Design has done for us. They didn’t just look at our design requirements but challenged us to really look at the fundamentals of our brand and our target market.

    They fully engaged with our team and questioned our thinking, providing strong guidance when needed to keep us all on track. Not only is their work exceptional but it’s an absolute pleasure to work with them too.

    The end product has evoked huge comment from customers and buyers alike as to its thought provoking branding, design and uniqueness, thus putting Country Crest into a whole different zone of marketing.”

    Tony Doyle Commercial Director | Country Crest

    “Lorraine Carter from Persona Design recently presented at our Dell Social Media Event on the importance of Brand for Corporate and Self. Lorraine provided great tips, many of them thought-provokingfrom her vast experience in developing brands, as an individual, for customers and the importance of building relationships.

    I would highly recommend Lorraine as a trusted advisor on Brand Development and Management.”

    Joan ByrneSaaS Portfolio Manager EMEA | Dell Inc

    Zed-Candy-500px“Persona Design has always exceeded the objectives of our briefs. Their level of interaction and creative rigour offering a range of fresh concepts is brilliant.

    Apart from being great people to work with, Persona Branding & Design offers an unbeatable combination in their level of service, lateral thinking, attention to detail, strategic focus and commitment to all projects undertaken. They are a key asset within my company and I would be delighted to personally recommend their services.”

    Donal KavanaghSales & Marketing Director | Zed Candy Ltd

    “Persona Design are very talented brand consultants and packaging design experts. They are knowledgeable, creative and highly dependable. My company has hired them for a number of projects and we have always been very pleased with the results.

    In fact, several of their projects for us have won prestigious awards. I highly recommend Persona Branding & Design.”

    Mark Andrews IIIChairman of the Board | Castle Brands Inc

    Robert-Roberts-500px“Persona Branding & Design has adroitly managed several of our most important brand design briefs over the past couple of years and in doing so brought a high degree of creativity plus in depth knowledge in dealing with packaging and print suppliers that was vital for the completion of the successful end product.

    Their attention to detail and open book costing consistently ensures no surprises on design or origination quotations.”

    Gerry MurphyMarketing Director | Robert Roberts Ltd

    “I was delighted to be a participant in Lorraine’s Master class on Branding, Packaging and Design. Lorraine has extensive experience is this area and her third party examples of clients she has worked with really drove the message home on the importance of one’s brand and how powerful it can be.

    She is passionate in her message and delivers it with conviction. I strongly recommend her as a trainer, speaker in the area of branding, packaging and design as she is truly an expert.”

    Margaret Hoctor Personal Coach | Trainer | Mentor and Facilitator

    Wavin-500px“Persona Design has worked with Wavin on the creation and development of the new branding and marketing collateral for the launch of a new range of premium products.

    They worked closely with our commercial team during this period to deliver a fantastic launch, on time and within budget. I would highly recommend Persona Branding & Design to anyone who is looking for a company that adds value through innovative ideas.”

    Brendan MurphyCommercial Director Wavin UK & Ireland | Wavin UK Ltd

    “Lorraine is a highly experienced and expert marketing professional. That’s just one way of putting it. She is an expert public speaker and her passion for subject matter shines though when she presents on a subject that is obviously close to her heart. Highly professional and credible, she is always looking for the best way to apply her talent for her clients best interest.

    Her firm is highly successful in delivering strategic marketing projects for their prestigious client base. I have no hesitation in offering my highest recommendation for Lorraine and her team at Persona Branding & Design”

    Paul C DwyerGlobal Cyber Security Expert

    “Lorraine’s depth of knowledge in branding is immense. I have attended some of her courses and also see first hand the benefits Persona Branding & Design can bring to a business. I am always happy to recommend Lorraine.”

    Ruaidhri PrendergastTechnology Sales Engine | Tech Marketing | Sofware | SaaS | FinTech | Hardware | 10x Return on Investment | Co-Founder | Ingenuity

    “I have known of Lorraine’s high quality work for a number of years and in late 2008 I finally had the opportunity to work with her in developing a brand and marketing strategy for an upcoming awards ceremony.

    Lorraine patiently guided the team through the process and was excellent in identifying the nuances, do’s and don’ts of our target market. We started out thinking a brand was just a logo but now know better!

    Before this however, Lorraine had sat down for coffee on an number of occasions with my colleague and I on a different venture and was very generous with her time and sharing her knowledge. I aim to call on Lorraine many times in the future and look forward to it.”

    Ian Lawlor New Business | Lotus Investment Group

    “I’d be happy to recommend Lorraine Carter and her company, Persona Branding & Design, to any client who wants an enthusiastic and passionate business partner to produce compelling brands built on a sound strategy.”

    Tim HealyMercator Marketing Research

    “Lorraine is both highly creative and strategic. Her professional and flexible approach combined with her attention to detail resulted in exceptional work which perfectly met the clients needs. A pleasure to work with. I’d happily recommend her for any brand project!”

    Alayne RooneyMarketing Consultant

    How to Rebrand

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