The concept of differentiation is fundamental to branding. It is at once the goal, the strategy and the outcome of marketers’ efforts to create unique and relevant places in the hearts and minds of customers.
Yet, true differentiation is difficult to achieve. And even for those brands that manage to achieve it, differentiation is even harder to sustain, unless you’re like Apple and happen to have an otherworldly talent for meaningful innovation. For everyone else, let’s face it, most differences are short-lived, and in the arms race for advantage, many so-called differences are less than relevant to customers.