🔆 Differentiation - how to make it more defensible?

Yesterday’s LinkedIn post from Alex M.H. Smith struck a nerve. It was about one question that puts you ahead of 99% of strategists: How do we disagree?

This question, at its core, is about differentiation.

It got me thinking because everything I do in my day-to-day work with people like you is about that word. 


But we often skip over it without thinking: What makes the strongest differentiation? 

Differentiation is only valuable when it’s defensible. 

You can claim anything you want, but what’s it worth if your competitors decide to claim it as well?


So, what makes it defensible? And what makes it durable?


Here are my thoughts on how Defensibility gets stronger by adding layers:

  1. It takes a lot of effort to copy (many sprints / many resources).
  2. It stops your competitors from entering your space because it’s not profitable for them. (F.ex, how you dictate pricing in the market).
  3. It eliminates your competitors from participating because they can’t give the guarantees (f.ex. outcome-based models)
  4. It sidetracks competitors because it goes against their (strategic/operational) beliefs or what they stand for (e.g., speed, quality, reliability, affordability, experience, status, convenience, etc.).
  5. It disadvantages competitors because it ruins their business model (f.ex, bets on direct vs indirect channels).


In a nutshell

The strongest differentiation is not whether a competitor can imitate you but whether they dare to do so.


Question for you to reflect upon: 

On a scale of 1-10, how easily can your competitors copy you? What could you change that your customers love but competitors won’t dare consider?


Be Remarkable


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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.