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Spot The Difference – The Reality of Most Differentiation Efforts

by Hank Barnes  |  August 21, 2018  |  3 Comments

Remember Squeeze, a great 80’s band that was renowned for their songwriting tandem, Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook.  Well, in 2010, they released a new album titled, Spot the Difference.  It was re-recordings of classic Squeeze songs with a small difference.  Part of the reason for doing this was so the band could “own a little bit more of our own history” since major record labels owned the originals.

Source: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37551788

Source: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37551788

For those, like me, that bought the album, spotting the difference was pretty difficult.  I love music, but I don’t have a sensitive ear.  Pretty quickly, I found it impossible, and just enjoyed revisiting some of my favorite music.

If I really cared about finding the differences, I would have been very, very frustrated.  Very, very quickly.

But that is what most vendor messaging does to customers, forcing them to try to spot the difference to uncover differentiation and why they should care.

Yes, this is a different take on a consistent theme of this blog, but it bears repeating.   Be explicit about what makes you different.  Provide comparisons.   Don’t just bury that stuff deep within content hoping customers will find it.

Most won’t.  And unless they have other reasons to give you another chance (such as your brand reputation or prior relationships), they won’t bother to listen anymore (because it’s not great music like Squeeze).

 

 

Additional Resources

Category: go-to-market  

Tags: differentiation  messaging  

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
6+ years at Gartner
30+ years IT Industry

Hank Barnes provides research and advisory services on go-to-market strategies for technology providers. His research efforts focus on understanding the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. He then applies that research to explore the implications on vendor strategies, supporting the efforts of product marketing, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and CEOs. Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Spot The Difference – The Reality of Most Differentiation Efforts


  1. Ken R says:

    I read this with a cup of black coffee in bed and realized that it too cool for marketing cats like me!

  2. Edward Golod says:

    Hank…chime me in….

    Yeah, I’m out of control
    I’m out of control
    And I don’t mind saying…

    Let’s catch up, new horizons.
    Ed



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