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Brand Differentiation

Differentiation Takes Place In The Mind

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Differentiation Takes Place In The Mind

While the mind may still be a mystery, we know one thing about it that is for certain—it’s under attack. Most Western societies have become totally ‘‘overcommunicated.’’ The explosion of media forms, and the ensuing increase in the volume of communications, has dramatically affected the way people either take in or ignore the information offered to them.

Overcommunication has changed the whole game of communicating with and influencing people. What was overload in the 1970s turned into megaload by the turn of the century.

Here are some statistics to illustrate the problem:

*More information has been produced in the past 30 years than in the previous 5,000.
*The total of all printed knowledge doubles every four or five years.
*One weekday edition of the New York Times contains more information than the average person was likely to come across in a lifetime in seventeenth-century England.
*More than 4,000 books are published around the world every day.
*The average white-collar worker uses 70 kilograms of copy paper a year—twice the amount consumed 10 years ago.

Electronic Bombardment

And what about the electronic side of our overcommunicated society?

Every day, the World Wide Web grows by a million electronic pages, according to Scientific American, adding to the many hundreds of millions already online.

Everywhere you travel in the world, satellites are beaming endless messages to every corner of the globe. By the time a child in the United Kingdom is eighteen, he or she has been exposed to 140,000 TV commercials. In Sweden, the average consumer receives 3,000 commercial messages a day.

In terms of advertising messages, 11 countries in Europe now broadcast well over 6 million TV commercials a year. In the United States, the electronic side of overcommunication continues its relentless attack. Experts say that the country will be going from 150 channels of television to 500. (By the time you find something to watch, the show will be over.)

And then there are all those computers, and the much-hyped information superhighway, which promises to deliver massive amounts of information to your home via fiber-optic cables, or CD- ROMs . . . or whatever.

All this means that your differentiating idea must be as simple and as visible as possible and delivered over and over again on all media. The politicians try to stay ‘‘on message.’’ Marketers must stay ‘‘on differentiation.’’

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3 Comments

Scott Gould on July 13th, 2009 said

Jack,

Very good. Just last week I was writing about the commodization of content, and you are saying the same thing here, but with facts.

To think that more information has been produced in the last 30 years than in the previous 5,000 – you are right on when you say we must stay “on differentiation”

Brandon R Allen on July 13th, 2009 said

This is one of the most challenging aspects for any business: communicating their message simply and powerfully so that people get it instantly. This proliferation of material is why companies and individuals must understand their business and their values.

wendy chung on September 27th, 2011 said

Sensory branding is the answer. Let them experience your brand in a holistic way (see it, hear it, feel it, smell it, and taste it!!

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