Sunday, February 28, 2010

Image Differentiation

A company can obtain competitive advantage by differentiating itself from the competition. Kotler states, “It can differentiate along the lines of product, services, channels, people or image” (186). Once a company identifies its points of differentiation, if it has more than one it must then decide which ones to use, how to use them and to what target market to direct them.

Because of the potential costs associated with the choice of differentiation the most effective difference or differences must be chosen carefully. Kotler lists several factors worth considering when making this choice. They ask: is it Important, Distinctive, Superior, Communicable, Preemptive, Affordable, and Profitable? (189).

If a company chooses to differentiate based on image, Kotler also says the following: “A company or brand image should convey the product’s distinctive benefit and positioning. Developing a strong and distinctive image calls for creativity and hard work” (188).

Well, creativity is exactly what dairy farmers in Washington State have called upon to differentiate themselves and their image. Recently, a radio ad by the dairy farmers of Washington State expressed that their milk was of higher quality because of the way they treat their cows. They expressed that the difference comes from how comfortable they make their cows by providing them with cow mattresses. Among others, this differentiation could certainly appeal to animal lovers and those moving toward organic products.

While the radio ad is not available to listen to, the following website of the Dairy Farmers of Washington contains verbage along the same lines. The other website listed is a post from another site regarding the benefits of cow mattresses and the production of cow’s milk.

Jenniffer Wellbrock
Mktg 301 Section E

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