Product lends maximum scope for differentiation


The maximum scope for exploiting differentiation remains with the product. While all the 4Ps of marketing are important elements from the point of view of strategy, the other Ps normally go as elaborations of the offer, while the product forms its core.

Product differentiation is of vital importance in product management and has great potential in forging successful marketing strategies. We will discuss in this article. We shall also elaborate the various issues involved in product differentiation.

Let us first see the various planks on which product differentiation can be based. The product can be differentiated along two major planks:

1. Tangible product attributes and function, and
2. Intangible characteristics and emotional associations.

We are giving below a few cases about differentiation made on the above planks through a series of examples.

Differentiation Based on Ingredients / Formula

Close-Up with gel:

HLL’s Close-Up was put on the market with a distinction. It was based with Gel. Other toothpaste used calcium carbonate, but Close-Up used glycerin. A paste with glycerin could be nicely colored and given better flavor. It also served as mouthwash. HLL secured for Close-Up a market share of over 15% during the early growth stage itself.

TTK prestige with Teflon:

TTK group launched the Prestige range of frying pans as non-stick cookware. It claimed for the new range, the distinction that the coating used was DuPont’s Teflon, the best material available for ensuring the non-stick property.

Promise with clove oil:

In the latter half of the 1980s, Balsara’s Promise toothpaste was creating waves in the Indian oral care market. Its differentiation was the special ingredient, clove oil, which was a traditional herbal remedy for tooth / gum complaints.

Vatika with herbal ingredients:

Dabur Vatika claimed distinction as a hair-oil carrying a blend of several natural, herbal ingredients traditionally used by Indian women for hair care. The ingredients included Coconut oil, ‘Brahmi’, lime, ‘Mehandi’, etc.

Differentiation Based on Functional Value

3M Scotch Magic Tape:

3M Scotch Magic Tape is an adhesive tape marketed by 3M of the US. 3M highlights the functional value of the tape and claims superiority over other competing products, as shown below:

· It is a transparent adhesive
· Disappears when you apply it.
· Stays invisible and without yellowing.
· Ideal for permanent applications like mending and sealing envelopes.
· Can be written on.
· Is long lasting.

Videocon computer controlled fridge:

The fridge had it’s differentiate on a variety of new functions. “Videocon’s 450-litre, 6 door refrigerator. Computer controlled. A fully front control makes operation easier. Quick Freezing Corner and the Deodoriser can be activated at the touch of a finger. Quick Freezing Corner >> A stream of cold air chills foodstuff quickly preserving taste and freshness. Deodorizer >> Eliminates odor—Partial Freezing >> preserves foodstuff at a temperature of -30C, without actually freezing them; making it easy to slice meat and fish. Fresh vegetables compartment >> keeps vegetables fresh for days without any protective covering or wrapping. The Videocon 6 doors no frost. It’s new. It’s right for you.

Paints with insecticide:

When Indecor paints launched Vinycide, a new brand, it came with a remarkable differentiation. It was paint with an insecticide built in. Indecor Paints claimed, ‘Vinycide is the single coat plastic emulsion paint for insect free interiors….. The paint is an innovation with a unique formula from Artlin of France, a paint that had already turned interiors in Europe beautiful and insect free. And since it comes in white, it lets you create colors of your choice by adding stainer. The company also made an attempt to make hotels and lodging houses the special market segment for the product by suggesting that their guest deserved to stay in insect free rooms!

Roti Chef:

Roti Chef a newly launched kitchen gadget for making chappathi used Speed and Ease of cooking as the differentiation plank. It is an instant chappathi maker, which does the spreading and roasting in a jiffy.