Positioning Vs Differentiation vs Distinctiveness

In recent years, there has been a growing debate in branding and marketing over differentiations vs distinctiveness and the impact they have on customers and how they choose their brands.

And this debate isn’t between just anyone with an opinion. These are legends in the world of marketing and branding and opinions span two extremes.

On one extreme you have those who believe the customers only buy from your brand because of your brand ideals.

On the other extreme, you have those who believe that customers only buy based on physical availability and how unique they look compared to the rest.

In this article, I want to look at these opinions, break down these extremes and look at what this means in the real world for everyday brand builders.

In recent years, there has been a growing debate in branding and marketing over differentiations vs distinctiveness and the impact they have on customers and how they choose their brands.

And this debate isn’t between just anyone with an opinion. These are legends in the world of marketing and branding and opinions span two extremes.

On one extreme you have those who believe the customers only buy from your brand because of your brand ideals.

On the other extreme, you have those who believe that customers only buy based on physical availability and how unique they look compared to the rest.

In this article, I want to look at these opinions, break down these extremes and look at what this means in the real world for everyday brand builders.

Positioning vs Differentiation vs Distinctiveness
(Brand Strategy Debate)

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What Is Brand Positioning?

Brand positioning is the concept of a brand putting its flag in the ground as to what it wants to be remembered for by their audience

Let’s break that down a little further with a definition

Brand Positioning Definition

Positioning refers to the place that a brand occupies in the minds of the customers and the reason it should be remembered.

Positioning: A Brattle For Your Mind

Positioning is a concept made famous by Al Reiss and Jack Trout in their classic book from the early 80’s “Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind”

The reason it was so ground breaking was that it took brands into the realm of science.

That the battle for superiority was a psychological battle fought in the mind and memories of the customer.

This book influenced much of what is taught a universities and has become the cornerstone message of branding and marketing texts the world over.

For the majority of branding and marketing professionals, this is a known law.

“The basic approach of positioning is not to create something new and different, but to manipulate what’s already up there in the mind. To retie the connections that already exist” – Al Reiss & Jack Trout

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What Is Brand Differentiation?