Be Different or Die

by | Jul 31, 2018 | Marketing, Marketing News


“Because we’re only number two in rent-a-cars, we try harder” – Avis

Levy’s Rye Bread

“You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy Levy’s Jewish rye bread” – Levy’s Rye Bread
Businesses often think too hard to determine “what makes them different than the rest”. An honest method to differentiate your business from others is one which has been proven to work for both Avis and Levy’s Rye Bread. In the same way humans are all different, businesses can be too.
Avis has admitted they are “number two” to differentiate themselves from Hertz, but have also added, “we try harder”. This is the message that pierces into the minds of the prospect. Consumers often assume that secondary or lower brands must work harder to climb up the ladder and also that their prices must be more reasonable than top brands. This physiological effect often works when someone is admitting the facts and reality to use towards their advantage. It is part of the human phenomena to develop a level of sympathy to support those trying hard. As soon as Avis launched its campaign message in 1962 as being number two, it went from losing $3.2 million to earning $1.2 million. Although this marketing strategy is decades old, it is still very relevant today.

Duke University Library

Levy’s Jewish Rye Bread
This is the same way Levy’s positioned itself as a great bread brand for everyone. Levy’s is Jewish made, which is what makes it different. One of their ad posters featured a Native American biting into a Levy’s Rye Bread sandwich and the “You don’t have to be Jewish” campaign is known as one of the most successful uses of cultural and racial identity in public advertising. This campaign transformed Levy’s into New York’s top seller of rye bread. Nowadays, we find businesses differentiate themselves by offering “higher quality”, “better value” or “better product”. Differentiation is about being different than your competition, perhaps even the opposite. How can better quality be different when no one else claims to offer poor quality? We live in a world where every business claims to be offering the best product at the best price. Yes, advertising is not as effective as it once was and too many products are chasing the same consumers. But if businesses apply the right strategies to differentiate, surely, they can survive in today’s vast arena of products. Better differentiate your business before you get cannibalized!

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