Design as a Brand Differentiation Strategy

brand building strategy
Differentiation for commodity is difficult yet possible. Read through to see how brands like Coke used it to grow into a huge brand.

Eighty per cent of the earth is covered with water, making it a widely available commodity. Granted, most of the water in earth needs to be heavily purified and filtered before it is fit for drinking but weather is still widely available in it’s raw form. So, how do you differentiate a commodity like water? Through design.

Evian is the first premium bottled water. One of it’s selling points is that it’s water comes from the mountains of the Alps and is filtered through a natural process by Mother Earth. Just by looking at the water, you would not be able to tell the difference. So, Evian uses the distinctive design of it’s bottle to differentiate the brand. One look at the bottle and you will know it is an Evian, with or without the logo. That is how design (or rather, packaging design) can be used to differentiate a commodity.

Coca-Cola is also selling what is essentially a commodity – Cola – or what some of you might sugared water. If you look at the ingredients used to make Coca-Cola you will find that they are quite similar to those found in Pepsi.

But Coke used design to differentiate itself (a design differentiation strategy). He classic Coke bottle is an iconic design that has played an instrumental role in differentiating the Coke brand, setting it apart from every other soft drink. There are other elements of Coke’s design, such as the red cans. So, taking an opposite position, Pepsi’s cans are blue.

What is the difference between one air courier service and another? Not a lot really. Whether you uses DHL, FedEx you s get the same end result. This category has become something of a commodity. If you can’t get FedEx in your area, you would gladly use DHL or UPS or any other courier brand. FedEx packages carry distinctive purple and orange colours. DHL packages, Vans, planes and uniforms are yellow and red. And UPS is known for it’s me. In brown Bermuda shorts rushing from location to location in the distinctive brown UPS trucks.

That’s the power of design which can even help a commodity like water, courier look distinctive and could add value to it’s brand. That’s differentiating by Design – For Commodities.

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