A selection from the new book: Different Rules – the B2B Marketer’s Guidebook to Product Differentiation

B2B “Differentiation” idea starters – Part 13

By Chris Wirthwein


All other things being equal, specialization connotes expertise. Ask yourself, who knows more about heart pacemakers: an electro cardiologist or your family doctor? Some companies tout the breadth (general-ness) of their offerings. Specialists do just the opposite. They exude laser beam focus. Can you credibly claim such focus that no competitors can? Before you answer, understand doing this can get tricky. I regularly see marketers say they specialize in something that turns out to be almost wholly generic. We have a client that manufactures and markets industrial abrasives. They don’t refer to themselves as “industrial abrasive specialists.” That would be uninteresting and generic, because most suppliers in this category could credibly make an identical claim. So, kudos to our client for staying away from that. Instead, they position themselves as the creators of the industry’s first and only superoxalloy abrasive. (Google it.) Specialization in superoxalloys has provided them with a meaningful and relevant differentiator in their crowded segment.

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Chris Wirthwein is Senior Director for 5MetaCom, a marketing agency that develops strategies and campaigns to differentiate B2B technical and scientific products. He has authored three marketing books, including his latest, Different Rules: The B2B Marketer’s Guidebook to Product Differentiation. You can reach Chris on LinkedIn or at cwirthwein@5metacom.com.

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