Business dictionary has a great definition for market differentiation, a promotional method employed by a business to create an especially strong presence in a particular market (Market Differentiation, 2016).    But the question remains as to how do I as a small business do that?  The first place to start is to establish your business goal, what it is that you want your business to achieve.  That could be better brand awareness, increase of sales, increase of likes / followers, etc.  The next step would be to use the proper channels for achieving your goals along with the proper tactics.  For example you decide that you want to increase brand awareness and customer engagement by offering superb customer service.  The social channel you choose to achieve this goal is Twitter as it will allow you to engage quickly and effectively in real time while supporting your customers. Now, not only have you chosen the proper channel and tactic for your business goal but you’ve also initiated the means for differentiating your company from other companies operating on social channels.  A method of differentiation on social media is key to the ongoing success of your business (Blanchard, 2011). Below we take a look at how Adidas and Nike are differentiating their brands on social media.


Adidas’ goal is to use and incorporate social media into the overall marketing strategy for selling shoes, apparel and growing the brand.  The company has over 24 million Facebook fans and 3 million Twitter followers.  What differentiates Adidas social tactics is that they take the time to identify where their customers are hanging out on-line.  With that knowledge in hand they then use the appropriate social platforms which allow the consumer to uniquely connect to the brand in ways they may not otherwise be able to.  Other tactics include exclusive peeks at upcoming footwear and live chats with partnered athletes as a means for building engaging content.  Another important note is that the company strives for quality vs quantity in terms of social media fans and followers (Mulready, 2015).

More details and an interview with Lia Vakoutis, Head of Digital Strategy at Adidas, can be found here: http://rickmulready.com/adidas-social-media/

There is also a really good article on how Adidas is using “social listening” as a way of differentiating themselves within the market.  As mentioned earlier, this tactic helps the company to really zoom in and identify the types of social conversations consumers are having which then helps them to provide engaging content which works for their customers.  You can read more here:  http://www.thedrum.com/news/2016/03/05/adidas-spotlights-dark-social-be-most-personal-brand


While Adidas and Nike may be using some of the same tactics Nike has really differentiated itself within the market through its goals of providing top notch customer support through social platforms such as Twitter.  Nike adopted the concept of digital customer support early on.  Advantages of digital customer support using platforms such as Twitter include, real-time feedback from customers / public, real-time responses to customers, fast resolution times which can result in significant reduction costs for customer service departments, and most important happy satisfied customers.  Implemented correctly it’s a powerful way to differentiate one’s company within a market (Blanchard, 2011).  While Nike has a number of other tactics which work they have mastered customer support through several customized Twitter handles that allows them to maintain healthy ongoing relationships with their customers (Sprung, 2013).

This Weeks Question

How we will you differentiate your business on social media?



Blanchard, O. (2011). Social media ROI: Managing and measuring social media efforts in your organization. Indianapolis, IN: Que.

Market Differentiation.  (2016).  Business Dictionary.  Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/market-differentiation.html

Mulready, R. (2015).  adidas Social Media Success.  Retrieved from http://rickmulready.com/adidas-social-media/

Sprung, R. (2013, Aug 1).  4 Examples of Excellent Twitter Customer Service.  Social Media Examiner.  Retrieved from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/exceptional-customer-service-on-twitter/