Field where one flower stands out

Brands: To be different or not to be?

It shouldn’t actually be a question. It’s a no brainer that brands should be different in order to stand out from competing brands. It seems, however, that many brands are riding the wave of sameness in a sea of clones. Younger demographics especially, like Millennials and Generation Z expect uniqueness and with new brands popping up every day, brand differentiation has never been more important. 

A more recent school of thought has been suggested and offers distinctiveness as a partner to differentiation. The Distinctiveness Effect‚ shows that people tend to have superior memory for unusual or distinctive things/information. This effect predicts that when several similar things are presented, the one that differs from the rest will more likely be remembered. Thus, brands who strive for distinctiveness will more likely be remembered.

What is the value of being different and distinctive?
Tom Roach (BBH London’s Head of Effectiveness) has kindly compiled a list of key data to help brands avoid drowning in a ‘sea of sameness’.
These are the most important takeaway points:

  1. Its more profitable – studies show that operating in an uncontested market space is far more profitable than competing for or sharing the space in already existing markets.
  2. Difference can drive brand value – brands that are seen as both highly disruptive and different tend to increase in brand value, compared to brands who are perceived as both low in disruption and differentiation. In fact, these brands decline in brand value.
  3. People will pay a premium for ‘different’ brands – that says it all really. An analysis of actual prices paid shows that customers pay 22% more for brands they perceive to be meaningful and different.
  4. Distinctive advertising slogans are more memorable – the distinctiveness effect can be applied to advertising slogans. It has been shown that highly creative and distinctive slogans are more likely to be recalled.
  5. Distinctive brand campaigns are more profitable – campaigns which feature recognizable brand ideas and assets achieve stronger shorter-term profit ROI than brands who don’t.

If you, as a brand, want to succeed in today’s market, you cannot let yourself drown in the noise. It’s common knowledge that differentiation is important for brands. Why not try adding distinctiveness into the mix and see whether this new partnership is actually the key to great branding. The research certainty seems to suggest it is!