brand value

How Brand Differentiation Translates To Higher Sales


Brands like Louis Vuitton differentiate themselves with a distinctive look and feel.

When consumers believe that one brand is “meaningfully different” than competitors, they are willing to pay more -- sometimes as much as twice the price.

Those findings are from Kantar’s new “Blueprint For Brand Growth” report, based on analyzing some 6.5 billion attitudinal and shopper data points.

Brands that achieve this “meaningfully different” status -- those that address a spectrum of physical and emotional consumer needs in ways that competitors do not -- have much greater pricing power, higher brand equity and much faster growth.

The research drew from multiple divisions within Kantar, including its customer strategy division, Brand Z and Kantar Worldpanel.



“We all had more or less the same idea of what makes brands grow,” says James Potter, Kantar’s chief brand solutions officer. “But we hadn't formulated it into a uniform, consistent point of view.”

He tells Marketing Daily this research helped align the company’s division on one clear perspective. And because the data is longitudinal, going back 10 years, “we had the luxury of time. We could look at brands and how they evolved and see how they grew in value.”

Kantar defines difference by being perceived as setting the trend in a category. Differentiation goes beyond product qualities, identifying successful brands that create memories that separate themselves from others. Kantar's framework quantifies those differences, measuring how well brands meet needs, stand out, lead the way and come to mind.

Brands that achieve higher levels of differentiation have five times the penetration as parity brands, and a growth advantage in the following two years.

Potter tells Marketing Daily  most brands have at least some grasp of how differentiated they are, with some elements of the brand highly differentiated, and other aspects purely ordinary. “If a brand is attempting to establish itself as a premium product but is not driving a large share of the market, then they can say that their view of differentiation is inconsistent with the market,” he says. “I’m not saying every marketer gets it right, but they are trying to tune into that.”

The research uncovered several ways brands can extend their identity and become more differentiated.

*Leadership: Brands like TikTok set trends and challenge the status quo.

*Distinctiveness: A highly original look and feel, and a suite of brand assets that reinforce it, impress consumers. Louis Vuitton is a classic example.

*Emotive clarity: Brands like Disney achieve this by building solid and consistent connections, ensuring they are felt at every touchpoint.

*Functional benefit: These are the specific, superior qualities that set brands like Doritos apart.

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