Differentiate Your Brand in a Way That’s Actually Different

A very smart man — went by the name of Steve Jobs — once said, “You can’t look at the competition and say you’re going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently.” The need for CPG brands to differentiate themselves in truly unique ways will increase this year as price wars continue to rage and private label becomes more prolific and competitive in quality with national brands.

Differentiation occurs when a brand outperforms its rivals through providing a feature that reduces its direct competition with other rival brands. According to Priority Metrics Group, differentiation can occur through a number of routes including product, service, distribution channels, relationships, reputation/image, and price.

Many CPG companies continue to look to health and wellness/good-for-you products as a source of brand differentiation. This point is clearly demonstrated by the fact that health claims, such as “gluten-free” and “organic,” are becoming increasingly standard for food and beverage products.

Anthony Valentino, deputy editor at Mergermarket, explains, “Trends such as better-for-you and organic/natural are no longer nascent newfangled concepts and the playing field has become littered with competitors. Given how competitive shelf space is at the major retailers and the fact that it is now more difficult for smaller market entrants to catch their larger competitors off guard in these categories, it is becoming increasingly more challenging for these upstarts to gain a foothold.”

The need for differentiation is great among food and beverage brands, and packaging is a hugely important source of differentiation as a product’s package makes the first impact on shoppers. But with so many brands rushing to make health callouts on-pack in attempts to differentiate themselves, a curious mind must ask, how else can brands differentiate their products through packaging?

One simple answer is to make callouts about taste rather than simply about health, particularly as taste is ranked as the most important factor consumers consider when buying food and beverages. However, similar to how health claims like “non-GMO” must be approved, taste claims also require substantiation. Brands can employ ChefsBest to conduct blind test tastes that could potentially qualify a product for a taste award. ChefsBest awards allow brands to make substantiated taste claims, like “Award-Winning” and “Endorsed by Professional Chefs.”

Submit your product today for a ChefsBest evaluation that could open the doors to your brand uniquely differentiating itself through substantiated taste claims.