When I first started this blog, a wrote my first post showing examples of brands which, through innovation, use their functional differentiator through leveraging their equities and DNA. But I realised that unless you then went onto read about the ethos of Little Big Innovations on the website, there was no explanation of what was meant by a functional differentiator or how you can define them for your brand. So, that is the aim of this blog post (and I hope it does help).
What is a functional differentiator?
A functional differentiator should be based upon the brand's functional benefits ie. attributes which provide the consumer with a functional utility. These should be ownable to brand and distinctive (or more credible) versus competitors.
How to define your brand's functional differentiator(s)?
There are many inputs which can be used. Here are some of the most useful places to start, although the list is not exhaustive (and size does not represent importance):
If you'd like to know more about how to use these inputs, please do get in touch. It is a very straightforward process, and ensures the brand weeds out the difference between something which is unique to them versus a theme for the category.
How to judge if your functional differentiator(s) are purposeful?
So, once you have defined your functional differentiators, you then need to judge whether they are robust and will add meaning. Below are some of the criteria that we use at Little Big Innovations:
Is it unique, specific and distinctive to your brand or a category generic?
Can it be substantiated through the growing / manufacturing / supply process? Or is it part of the brand's heritage?
Is it relevant to your target consumer? Is it something they can understand?
Does it have the foundation for a strong emotional connection to the brand?
Is it easy to use as a starting point for innovation?
I hope this article sheds some light on functional differentiators. At Little Big Innovations we have a ton of experience in helping brands define them and use them as their starting block for innovation. If you'd like some help, please do get in touch. We are happy to simply share ideas over a cup of tea!