A key differentiator is powerful marketing tool. It is a short, factual and truthful statement about what makes your company or product different (and better) from the competition, such as:
“Nearly all our staff used to work in the industry of our customers, so they have a deep understanding of their issues”
“Our product is the only one that has been purpose-built for this industry, and is therefore faster at doing x, y and z”
Each company will have around ten key differentiators. They must be written down.
Why do you need key differentiators?
They help your company produce high quality marketing materials with consistent and honest messaging. This is because every time you create something new, you already have a well-defined list of impactful and true observations to work from.
How do you use key differentiators?
They are a guide for your communications, both written and spoken. Everyone in the company should use them whenever they are in contact with a customer, or anyone outside the company. However, the actual statements are mere summaries, so their wording will always have to be adjusted for external use. Every communication should incorporate at least one key differentiator, and will often use several.
How are the key differentiators defined?
To ensure that your key differentiators are truthful and based on evidence, rather than the opinions of the CMO, we normally recommend that a group of people from across your company get together in a workshop and write down what they think is special about the company. Each person uses a Post-It Note to record each idea, and then we arrange the Post-It Notes into logical groups and, finally, we distil each group into a one-sentence key differentiator. This last stage takes some skill and effort because there are normally several hundred Post-It Notes to digest. However, having managed this process for several clients, we have found it to be a very successful way of getting to the truth. We know this because, afterwards, we often interview the customers of our clients and we find that what they say aligns with the key differentiators.
Would you like to define your key differentiators?
Contact Tim Macer for more information on how meaning can help your company find its key differentiators.