6 Ways to Differentiate Your Business from the Competition

Differentiation allows you to provide superior value to customers at an affordable price, creating a win-win scenario that can boost the overall profitability and viability of your business. Our research indicates there are six primary ways to differentiate, including product, service, channels of distribution, relationships, reputation/image, and price.

However, not all differentiation strategies are equally effective, and some methods may be more important to invest in than others in order to stand out from the competition. Read on to learn more about these different strategies and the key advantages and disadvantages associated with each one.

Topics: Market Research Strategy Custom Market Research

Differentiation: Creating a Unique Business Position

Differentiation is providing superior value to customers at a profitable price. If we look at the fundamental equation of business (Figure 1), differentiation may be thought of as increasing value through some combination of more or better benefits or a reduced price. Benefits include product and service performance, but also include availability, image, relationship, and many other performance attributes. Price includes the price charged for the product and service, but also includes terms, total cost in use, paperwork required to complete and track the exchange, and other attributes. Any decrease in price attributes or increase in benefits will increase value.

Topics: Market Research Strategy Custom Market Research

Yes, Brand Awareness Does Matter in B2B Markets

Unlike most B2C marketers, many B2B companies invest little or no resources (both time and money) in understanding brand awareness, but Harvard Business School Marketing Professor John Quelch challenges this position. His reasons:

  • Most B2B marketers cannot economically address thousands of small businesses using the traditional direct sales force.
  • If left unattended, individual managers will each do their own ad hoc marketing.
  • B2B marketers are realizing that developing brand awareness among their customers' customers can capture a larger share of channel margins and build loyalty that can protect them against lower-priced competitors.
Topics: Market Research Strategy Marketing Custom Market Research

Competitive Intelligence: Strategically Critical yet Underutilized

In a world where knowledge is power, what you don't know can hurt you. The good news: It's not so hard to find out what your rivals are up to. Competitive intelligence can drive your strategy, calm your fears about the future, and give your company a competitive edge. Competitive intelligence uses many of the same techniques as market research but deploys them to answer highly targeted and specific questions, rather than to gain insight into broad market trends.

Topics: Market Research Strategy Custom Market Research

How MarketResearch.com Became an Industry Leader: Part II

In yesterday’s post, we interviewed Founder and CEO Rob Granader to find out what distinguishes MarketResearch.com from other business intelligence providers. We delved into MarketResearch.com’s new business strategy and explored its unique mix of innovative market research solutions.

Today, we continue our discussion with Rob and highlight several other attributes that help shape MarketResearch.com’s company culture and the overall customer experience.

Topics: Academic Profound Market Research Subscription Market Research Provider Knowledge Centers Custom Market Research

How MarketResearch.com Became an Industry Leader: Part I

The ups and downs of the world economy clashed and converged with the growth of MarketResearch.com — since its start at the end of the dot com bubble in 2001. MarketResearch.com has weathered a series of economic storms including the tech bubble, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the Great Recession of 2009. Many of these downturns occurred at pivotal moments in the company’s history. Most pronounced, soon after MarketResearch.com finalized a large acquisition focused on the financial services market, the world’s banks went into a nosedive.

Despite these challenges, MarketResearch.com has become the leading provider of global market intelligence products and services, which are used by more than 5,000 companies a year and 89 percent of the Fortune 1000.

Topics: Academic Profound Market Research Subscription Market Research Provider Knowledge Centers Custom Market Research

Monitoring Technology, an Often Overlooked Component of Market Research

Most B2B companies that regularly conduct market research typically focus on developing a deep understanding of three primary areas:

  • Market metrics (size, growth, and share)
  • Competitive landscape (competitors, strengths, and weaknesses)
  • Product and service performance with the current customer base (customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Score, etc)   
While we agree that the information generated by researching these three areas is critical in the creation of a well-developed strategic plan, there is another key area that should be addressed: technology.
Topics: Market Research Strategy Custom Market Research

Making Market Research an Ongoing Dialogue, Not a Project

Companies turn to custom market research because they need specific answers in order to make critical business decisions. The problem is the way we’ve been forced to think about market research from the lens of a project, in large part, due to the way this research is and has been executed.  

By definition, market research projects are episodic in nature, rigid in question format, and take weeks and months to execute so as to deliver the insights they’re framed to address. Internal and external complexities exist to commission, source, and complete market research. Buyers often refer to the process as exhausting and expensive, and respondents find the survey length tedious and difficult to schedule during a busy day. 

Topics: Market Research Strategy Custom Market Research

Using Market Research to Develop a Solid Pricing Strategy

Market and competitive pricing in the B2B sector is often a challenging area for many market researchers to tackle. Actual pricing information is difficult, if not impossible, to discuss using traditional interview techniques, as this information is considered highly proprietary. Often, pricing is not a straightforward matter as it may incorporate early payment discounts, freight, volume discounts, change orders, interest, or other finance charges and many other variants.

Topics: Market Research Strategy Custom Market Research How To's

The Key to Market Positioning and Growing Market Share

In the B2B world, market share is pursued and defended constantly. On a customer-by-customer basis, companies constantly exploit opportunities to take share from competitors and develop strategies to prevent losing share. Sustainable growth is dependent on developing solid strategies in both of these areas. So how do you begin to understand all of the market dynamics associated with developing a comprehensive strategy designed to protect and grow market share?

Topics: Market Research Strategy Custom Market Research How To's