Company Differentiation

A company can differentiated its market. Offering along five dimensions:-

a) Product;

b) Services;

c) Personnel;

d) channel and

e) Image.

Product Differentiation: Here the seller faces an abundance of design parameters, including form, features, performance quality, conformance quality, durability, reliability, style, reparability and design.

  1. Form:- Many product can be differentiated in form the size, shape of physical structure of a product.

  2. Features:- Most products can be offered with varying features that supplement the product’s basic functions. Being the first to introduce valued new features is one of the most effective ways to compete.

  3. Performance Quality: Most products are established one of four performance levels: low, average, high or superior. Performance Quality is the level at which the products primary characteristics operate.

  4. Conformance Quality: Buyers expect products to have a high conformance quality, which is the degree to which all produced units are identical and meet the promised specifications.

  5. Durability: Durability, a measure of the products expected operating life under natural stressful conditions, is a valued attribute for certain products.

  6. Reliability: Reliability is a measure of the probability that a product will not malfunction or fail within specified time period.

  7. Repairability: Repairability is a measure of the ease of repairing a product when it malfunctions or fails.

  8. Style: style describes the product’s look and feel to the buyer. Style has the advantage of creating distinctiveness that is difficult to copy.

  9. Design: As competition intensifies, design offers a potent way to differentiate and position a company’s products and services. Design is the totality of features that effect how a product looks and functions in terms of customer requirements.

Service Differentiation : When the physical product can not easily be differentiated, the key to competitive success may lie in adding valued service and improving their quality. The main service differentiators are ordering ease, delivery installation, customer training, customer consulting and maintenance and repair.

  1. Ordering Ease: Ordering ease refers to how easy it is for the customer to place an order with the company.

  2. Delivery: Delivery refers to how well the product or service is delivered to the customer. It includes speed, accuracy and care attending the delivery process.

  3. Installation: Installation refers to the work done to make a product operational in its planned location. Buyers of heavy equipment expect good installation service. Differentiation at this point in the consumption chain is particularly important for companies with complex products.

  4. Customer Training: Customer training refers to training the customer’s employers to use the vender’s equipment properly and efficiently.

  5. Customer Consulting: Customer consulting refers to data, information systems and advice services that the seller offers to buyers

  6. Maintenance and Repair: Maintenance and repair describes the service programme for helping customers keep purchased products in good working order.

Personal Differentiation: Companies can gain strongly through having better- trained people. Better trained personnel exhibit six characteristics:-

i) Competence: They posses the required skill and knowledge.

ii) Courtesy: They are friendly, respectful and considerate.

iii) Credibility: They are trustworthy.

iv) Reliability: They perform the service consistently and accurately.

v) Responsiveness: They respond quickly to customer’s requests and problems.

vi) Communication: They make an effort to understand the customer and communicate clearly.

Channel Differentiation: Companies can achieve competitive advantage through the way they design their distribution channel’s coverage expertise and performance.

Image Differentiation: Buyers respond differently to company and brand image. Image is the way the public perceives the company or its product.