How can a business differentiate without changing the product itself?

How can a business differentiate without changing the product itself?

Via Quora: What can you change in a business that is strong enough to differentiate the business from all competitors, but without touching the product itself?

For example,

  • GILT, changed PRICE but didn’t change product, and opened a niche for discounted designer clothes.
  • Phones International, changed the DISTRIBUTION MODEL of the mobile phone industry but it didn’t change the product (cell phones), and opened a niche for ‘single brand distribution.
  • The Book People, changed the TARGET CUSTOMERS, but didn’t change the product (books), and opened a niche selling books to corporate clients.
  • Adwords, changed the BUSINESS MODEL, but didn’t change the product (display ads), and opened a niche for ‘performance advertising’.

These are significant differences that not only differentiate the companies from all the others, but disrupted the market in some way.

What other variables can you change in a business in this way?

How are these variables called?

Where can I learn more about this?

My response:

A perfect example of a company that did this successfully is Zappos. They differentiate with customer service, not the products themselves. If it were all about products, then Amazon (who bought Zappos for this very reason) would have a larger collection.

Zappos is now synonymous with customer service. Everyone looks at them for direction on this concept alone. Even non-competitors.

Another example is Google Chrome. Google differentiated its browser from Firefox by focusing on speed. Now, everyone is playing catch up.

Google AdWords debuted in 2000 and served as a platform for running text ads on Google’s program . Eighteen years later, AdWords evolved from a text platform to a platform which will support different ad formats like videos, apps, shopping, and more.

Now, its evolution has come to the aim of rebranding Google AdWords to Google Ads for the purpose of simplifying its complex line of products.

With google ads management, marketers can buy ads across all of Google’s properties also as partner websites. So if you’re a marketer, you’ll now easily reach people that are finding answers on search engines, YouTube, Google Maps, among others.

There’s few difference between Google AdWords and Google Ads but the great news is that the platform is more simplified and is becoming an automatic interface.

But that’s not all.

Google has announced the launch of their new advertising product made solely for little businesses. Getting some advice for your business from Jimmy John Owner is a good idea.

Smart campaign may be a new campaign type in Google Ads that brings a machine learning technology (that’s AI right there) that makes ads. this enabled the LLC in Washington and its advertisers to spot the actions they’re prioritizing, e.g., phone calls, store visits, or purchases. this may help small businesses to first specialise in running their business to stability without shedding an excessive amount of effort on online advertisement campaigns.

Google Marketing Platform

The following products might not be familiar to small businesses, but if you’re an advertiser for giant international businesses, then eyes here.

With the bursting of channels, data, and formats, consumers are now very oriented on how they’re being advertised to or identified as a target market.

Remember the privacy scandal that happened a couple of months ago? That’s right. People are now aware that a number of their private data are getting used for advertising purposes.

That is why Google made another tool that puts privacy because the top priority.

They introduced the Google Marketing Platform, a collaboration of DoubleClick advertiser products and Google Analytics 360 Suite.

Marketers can do all their tasks in one place. they will now evaluate their customer experience, measure their optimized digital campaigns and other tasks in one place without compromising the private data of their customers.

Under the Google Marketing Platform, Google also introduces new products called Display and Video 360. These products compile the features from DoubleClick Bid Manager, Campaign Manager, Studio and Audience Center. this suggests all departments can now collaborate in real time and execute ad campaigns during a single place.

On top of the business model canvas, we can further visualize angles with the Innovation Radar tool:

Innovation Radar

Innovation Radar

So much of innovation is about focusing on an attribute or feature no one else is exploring. Focus on that, and make it matter. 

What do you think, how else can a business differentiate without changing the product itself?

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Also published on Medium.