5 Powerful Strategies for Creating Brand Differentiation

Successful Indie brands are founded with a purpose driven mission to serve the specific needs of a niche audience. They are often born out of the desire of the founder to solve a problem that he or she is passionate about, and it is this passion that defines the brand. Indie brands have an authentic creation story that provides a distinct marketing advantage by resonating deeply with their target audience.

There are 5 specific strategies for creating brand differentiation which indie brands typically leverage to build this deep audience  relationship. Top brands combine several strategies together, offering an even more compelling reason for their chosen audience to purchase their products.

Social Responsibility

This is an overarching concept that drives all purpose driven businesses. Sometimes it is achieved simply by donating a portion of sales to  a cause that is closely aligned with the brand’s values. In other cases, the social benefits are achieved through a green/eco-friendly commitment or community engagement.

However the brand incorporates social responsibility, it must be more than just a marketing ploy. It must be authentically express your foundational values and guide your business decisions.

Examples: Toms, Blu Kicks

Business Model

Brands that initiate or innovate new business models are able to pass on increased value to the consumer in the form of lower costs for a comparable experience, or a superior experience for a comparable cost.

This approach is most effective when brands are able to play David to an existing goliath and democratize an industry that has traditionally been controlled by a few entrenched players.  

Example: Warby Parker

Design Innovation

Some products are able to differentiate purely on the basis of an innovative design that solves a problem in a unique way. The solution itself is remarkable because it is recognized as providing an intrinsic benefit to a specific audience or humanity at large.

Examples: Tile, Nomad Goods


Many indie brands differentiate on the basis of sourcing more environmentally friendly materials, adding handcrafted details,or by locating their manufacturing in a specific place to support a worthy work force.

Examples: American Apparel, Mini Mioche

Customer Experience

Some brands offer a unique or superior customer experience. This can be expressed in user interface of the website, creating a physical retail presence, creating novel or helpful ways of interacting with friendly customer service representatives or simply in the unboxing experience.

Examples: L.L. Bean



Looking for a better way to deepen your relationship with your audience?  These examples and  strategies for creating brand differentiation are a great place to start.

Have any other favorite examples or thoughts? Please share them below!


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