Differentiation should be considered a key element to your brand strategy and help to provide an opportunity and vision to define a niche within your market sector, helping to gain the attention of your existing customers and extend your proposition to encourage new markets and audiences.

Framework Models of Brand Differentiation

After completing an organisational digital strategy health check, you will have a wider picture of the landscape your organisation is positioned, its strengths and weaknesses, the competitor landscape and the potential opportunity to create a model of differentiation from the competition in order to meet your organisations objectives.

To help understand whether a model of differentiation could exist, it is important to evaluate the quantitative and qualitative research completed. There are 3 models you could consider to apply to your organisation when considering a Brand differentiation strategy:

Three frameworks/models for brand differentiation

Framework 1: Ansoff Matrix

Applying the Ansoff (1957) strategic marketing grid provides a canvass to understand how the internet can offer four directions to a product or service.


Source: Ansoff Matrix diagram, Smart Insights

By applying the above matrix to the organisational health check, it helps to identify where the opportunities exist within the four key elements:

  1. Market Penetration: Is there an opportunity that exists to sell more products to your existing customer base?
  2. Market Development: Has the research identified new markets to enter that your competitors have not even considered?
  3. Product and Development: Are there cheaper, more effective ways to work with alternative manufacturers, suppliers or a different approach to servicing your customer base?
  4. Diversification: Could you move into a new market and capitalise on first mover advantage with a new product or service offer?

Case Study on a Company using Ansoff Matrix refer to the Ford Motor Company

Framework 2: DRIP Framework

Brands can use the tactic of marketing communications to help differentiate their brand against competing brands and to further support the use of such communications methods, the DRIP framework has been introduced with the purpose to aid brand differentiation. A useful framework to consider if operating in a market where there is little to separate competing brands.

DRIP refers to Differentiate, Reinforce, Inform and Persuade.


DRIP Framework: http://ift.tt/HQeRjG

The purpose of the 4 step approach is for brands to embed this framework within their digital communications strategy to help paint a picture of differentiating the brand from the competition and help to envisage how your brand could be positioned. By following the initial research of creating a customer and business context landscape you can then apply the DRIP framework focusing on:

  • 1. Differentiate: Where your brand is currently positioned in the market place, point of difference from the competition and areas to focus your digital proposition
  • 2. Reinforce: From identifying the points of difference, how could the brand reinforce these areas within the brand communications and further enhance this as a unique selling point?
  • 3. Inform: From reinforcing the brands point of difference, begin to consider what digital communications tactics to implement to help drive awareness and interest within the market.
  • 4. Persuade: Incentivise or encourage your audience to engage with your new product/service or digital brand proposition.

Case Study on a Company using DRIP Framework with Dyson

Framework 3: Blue Ocean Strategy

Following the blue ocean strategy helps Brands need to focus on creating an untapped market space where competition is irrelevant and as unexplored. Blue Ocean theory suggests that a majority of brands are all competing in the same market space, otherwise known as the red ocean (head to head competition) where the need to differentiate is required (i.e. creating a blue ocean) as defined in the table below.


Red and Blue Ocean Table: http://ift.tt/zVS1tJ

For more classic marketing and business models, all members can download our free marketing and business models guide.