In this Expert Insight Interview, Matthew Stibbe discusses how a tech company can differentiate itself and stand out from the crowd. Matthew Stibbe is the CEO of Articulate Marketing, a writer, marketer, pilot, entrepreneur, and computer games geek.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- The commoditization and differentiation of companies within a sphere
- How CEO’s passion for their industry leads to commoditization
- Examples of how different companies use differentiation to stand out
There’s a particular perception among customers today that tech companies are all interchangeable. Customers believe that technology companies are all the same, and because there are so many in the marketplace, it is tough to differentiate between them.
The widespread perception is that you will be okay if you get one tech company, whatever it may be dealing with. Therefore, perception-wise, tech companies tend to be somewhat commoditized regardless of what technology they deal with. This raises the challenge of differentiation.
Passion as an Obstacle
Commoditization results from undifferentiation, but it is not why companies are undifferentiated. If you trace this whole situation back, tech company founders and the people who decide a business’s culture, brand, and identity are interested in the technology because that’s what got them started in the first place.
The problem is that people who buy your software, whatever that software may be, are not interested in how to create this technology. They’re interested in solving a problem, making something better, or dealing with an issue and achieving their goals in business or life in general.
Examples of Differentiation
In the old days, while other PC manufacturers were talking about speeds and feeds, faster processes, megabytes, and so on, Apple had the slogan “Think Different.” They were talking about something that was connecting emotionally and imaginatively to their buyers – for the most part, creative types who were willing to pay more for the product.
This is a classic example of differentiation. In the PC world, everybody was mirroring the competition and trying to be faster than one company and cheaper than the other while ultimately looking the same as everyone else. Eventually, this turns into self-commoditizing.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.