Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Stand Out Marketing

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Stand Out Marketing

How to Differentiate Your Organization in a Sea of Sameness

Kogan Page,

15 min read
Audio & text

What's inside?

Differentiate your offerings to power B2B sales.

Editorial Rating



  • Comprehensive
  • Applicable
  • Insider's Take


B2B buyers face an inordinate number of choices and, confusingly, they all look and sound the same. Many purchasers don’t have the time, energy or inclination to make an informed choice, so they use price as the differentiator. B2B industry experts Dr. Simon Kelly, Dr. Paul Johnston and Stacey Danheiser developed the VALUE competency framework from research, case studies, interviews and experience to help you make your B2B offering stand out.


When B2B buyers seek a vendor for a product or service, they face a plethora of choices.

Too many choices lead purchasers to delay decisions, make inferior choices or select something that doesn’t meet their needs. As B2B purchasing grows more complex, the process takes greater time and effort than in the past. When communicating their value proposition, most providers’ messages sound alike. Fully 58% of B2B deals go nowhere because of the sameness problem.

When you use the same jargon, assurances, descriptions and messaging as your competitors, customers can’t assess value, and your offering becomes a commodity with price as the sole differentiator. Large companies suffer more from the sameness problem because they serve many markets with many teams and product lines.

Companies tread water in this “Sea of Sameness” when their messaging doesn’t align with their brand proposition. A study of B2B telecom marketing communications revealed that most contained the words “services, businesses and solutions.” When a business promises to provide solutions, reduce costs and offer exceptional customer service, these pledges don’t make you stand out.

About the Authors

Stacey Danheiser is the CEO and Founder of the B2B marketing and sales consultancy, Shake Marketing Group. Dr. Simon Kelly is a principal in the Shake Marketing Group and CEO of Cohesion Marketing Services. Dr. Paul Johnston is a researcher and lecturer at Nottingham Trent and Sheffield Hallam University.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

Related Channels