Standing out from the clutter to find true brand differentiation


On average consumers receive on average 3,000 marketing messages everyday, you’re no longer just competing against your direct competitors you’re competing against all messages that bombard people’s lives in order to get noticed. By offering the same, product, features and benefits as your competitors you are only contributing to the clutter and the confusion for consumers. So how do you cut through the clutter to stand out? It’s simple, by offering something truly different and unique that others aren’t offering and communicating that difference succinctly and authentically.

To get noticed and adopted by customers you need to cut through the clutter. Consumers are faced with five types of market place clutter:

1. Product Clutter – Too many products that are all the same.

Young man in supermarket looking at bottles on shelves, close-up

2. Feature Clutter – Overwhelming consumers with product features.


3. Advertising Clutter – Overwhelming amount of advertising, media messages.


4. Message Clutter – Too many messages all at once.

5. Media Clutter – TV, phones, social media, internet – all competing for our attention all at once.

It’s any wonder that consumers can choose one product or service over the others.

Fighting fire with fire

As a first instinct you may be tempted to fight your competition by offering the same product features and benefits, by communicating in the same way or by bombarding your audience with lots of message elements or just more pf what the competition offers. In other words by adding more clutter to the world. The reality is, this causes your market to switch off and your brand will become lost in the sea of many. Customers are blocking out your messages because they simply can’t process any more.

The answer to standing out from the clutter is to be different and get noticed, fight fire with water!

Differentiation is the art of standing out from your competition. It sounds easy and simple but in reality to find true differentiation it may involve you taking a risk into unchartered waters where no other brands are operating. There may be no proof that the product or service will work but it’s in these unknown waters where you’ll find true differentiation and in turn realise real brand growth and market share.

So how do you ensure what you’re offering is something that is truly different that customers actually want in their lives? Create a differentiated and authentic proposition that allows you to really create something new and different to the completion. Have a clear and succinct way of delivering that proposition and visually stand out from the pack. Then have the know how and decline to follow through with every touch point that your customers interact with your brand.

Are you another “me too” brand who contributes to the clutter? Or are doing things differently to stand out and be noticed?

Gemma Dittmar
Director of Brand Projects

Supermarket photo by Dmitry Vechorko on Unsplash, photo of Ginza, Tokyo by Yasuhiro on Wikimedia.

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