… or how do you brand a commodity?

I recently took a ski trip with my family to Colorado and was intrigued by the different positioning the various ski areas attempted to occupy with their brands.  While each one could clearly differentiate themselves on amenities such as number of lifts, elevation, etc., those are statistics that buyers only look at once they have the mountain on their radar screens.  How to get on those radar screens with a product that is, by-and-large, similar to its competition?  How different is one mountain’s snow from another’s?

What the successfully marketed mountains were using to differentiate themselves was positioning based on customer experience.  While one was a “happy family” destination, another positioned itself on the challenges it offered expert skiers.  And a third was very clearly positioning itself as Party Central – no families in their marketing literature!

Experiential marketing lends itself to many product and service categories, but is a particularly effective means to market one that can be perceived as a commodity.  If your brand competes on a fairly level playing field in which attributes and/or price are quite similar, then it is the customer experience that can differentiate it.  Take the time to define that ideal experience – talk to your customers! – and ensure that everyone in the company is dedicated to delivering their part of that experience.  Then build your messaging platform around that experience.

Snow is not always just snow!

Tracey Nelson, Co-Founder & Principal

Maven Marketing Solutions