Monthly Archives: February 2016

Use Product Differentiation for Good, Not for Evil

Written by William G Handlos, P.E. Product differentiation is often thought of as a way to create a competitive advantage.  Typically, a company decides to focus and promote upon a certain attribute(s) of a product making this attribute a key feature of their value proposition statement. For example, a major automobile company might focus and promote a rear lift gate automatic opener actuated by the movement of the driver’s foot under the rear bumper.  This inexpensive addition to an SUV’s feature set may be the difference in a buying decision between competing automobile brands, particularly in a market with fierce competition and similar option sets.  In this case, the manufacturer has created a product differentiator that truly adds benefit to the customer. Presto Geosystems® developed the original geocell in the late 1970s and GEOWEB® Geocell product enhancements have been developed every few years, always with the intent of offering benefits to their customers with each refinement. For manufacturers who sell to contractors who bid on projects that are based upon engineered plans and specifications, the waters can be murkier.  Is product differentiation created for the benefit of the customer or is differentiation simply crafted to create a unique set of… Read more »