Harvard Business School Professor and Senior Associate
Dean for Strategy and Innovation Youngme Moon helped us unpack what it means to be truly different’and burst a lot of
bubbles when she told us that despite what we may think, most of us are
believe that their brand is unique in its competitive set, in truth the vast
majority of brands are indistinguishable to the average consumer.
connoisseurs for your category,’ said Moon. ‘You may be able to easily see the differences, but for the average person looking at a hundred labels in
a wine shop, it’s all just wine.’
because we have so many choices. As the selection set in a category grows, the consumer
starts seeing ‘same’ and tunes out.
an environment, Moon said, but it’s exceedingly rare.
so by ‘flipping the fundamental”they upend a fundamental assumption about
MINI Cooper’of brands who differentiated themselves in a big way because they
defied the instinctive urge to ‘stay close to the competition’ and inverted a
value proposition. Often, this involves taking a presumed negative, putting it
front and center and turning it into a positive.
pressure to match the competition (this leads to the ‘flocking birds’ effect).
because they tend to look a lot like crazy ideas and they’re scary.
only tell us how to be better.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @mdrezz.