Make Process Your Differentiator

Posted: November 19, 2013

Topics: Strategy

“The great and powerful Oz has spoken!” and if you’re marketer, you’d better take notice. Why? Because no matter how loudly you say it, people aren’t really listening like they used to. A big advertising budget simply can’t shape reality like it did 30 years ago. And that means differentiating your brand – really differentiating it – from your competitors’ is harder than ever.

So what’s a marketer to do? I say pull back the curtain.

Take the humble doughnut. Doughnuts have been made pretty much the same way since the first doughnut was created in the mid-1800s and with rare exceptions, the doughnut innovation curve has been a fairly flat one. All things being equal, all doughnuts are created equal. So why is that I’m seriously considering a trip to New York right now?

The Doughnut Vault makes essentially the same doughnuts as the other hundred doughnut shops in New York. But the Doughnut Vault made how they make the doughnuts more interesting. And now I really want one.

So why not pull back the curtain on your own business? Embrace the notion that process is the new product and that how you make things can be as important as what you make these days – that what goes into the making of your product isn’t always obvious in what comes out.

But it is in there. And it’s a real opportunity to differentiate your commodity in a commodity-driven world.

And like as the Scarecrow discovered in Oz, pulling back the curtain just may be the smartest move you ever make.

Rob Wilkie is the creative director at PUSH 22, an integrated marketing and communications agency supporting leading and emerging companies.