Product Differentiation: A Guide to Standing Out

November 23, 2021

We often champion product-led growth, which we define as a product that offers its end users so much value that they inevitably become regularly paying customers. Done right, PLG is a significant driver of sustainable growth. The fact of the matter is that without product differentiation, you may never get to product-led growth. 

As with all SaaS products, it’s not just a matter of “if we build it, users will come.” You still have to define your value and convince users to use your product, which means you have to figure out how to stand out. 

Product differentiation isn’t an easy endeavor for marketing teams. Especially when the SaaS market is increasingly crowded. So what does it take to set your product apart from the pack? Here’s a collection of all our resources on product differentiation here at OpenView. 

What is Product Differentiation in SaaS?

Product differentiation is the work of defining your product’s strengths and unique value proposition in order to attract and retain new users and customers. A product’s competitive advantages can be the result of superior features, proprietary technology, standout performance, better design, and even stellar customer service. 

Good product differentiation helps distinguish products from other competitors in the market by establishing a product’s value, ultimately creating brand loyalty and stickiness. 

Nailing down product differentiation typically involves employees and executives coming together from departments such as engineering, sales, and marketing (specifically product marketing).  

Standing Out in a Crowded Marketplace: Practical Tips and How To’s

The Do’s, Don’ts, and How to Get It Right — A foundational guide to all things differentiation, including positioning and Unique Selling Propositions, audience segmentation and some real talk about potential potholes in the road.

SaaS Differentiation: How to Win in a Crowded Market with High Feature Commoditization Just because a market looks crowded, does not mean you cannot build a viable business upon it or even disrupt it with a new vision and broader ambitions,” writes Thibaud Clement, CEO of Loomly in this contributed article about carving your niche and finding your customers. 

How Winners Really Differentiate — If you’ve spent an inordinate amount of time writing positioning statements with your team, only to have nothing come from the exercise, this post’s for you. 

Evaluating Pricing Differentiation in a Crowded Market — We take a look at three players in the project management SaaS space and break down their pricing strategies. 

MongoDB’s Playbook for Breaking Into and Dominating the Market — When it comes to tech, the best stories are the “howdunits,” so enjoy going behind the scenes with MongoDB’s former Director of Growth Marketing Francesca Krihely. 

Does Your Product Need Its Own Category? Astha Malik, currently COO at VTEX, stopped by the OV BUILD podcast to talk about the idea of category creation and how to manage it well.

Crowded marketplaces have nothing on you. Use these resources to go forth and conquer your category, but do come back because we’ll be continuing to update this list. 

Shannon Curran

Shannon is the Director of Content Strategy at OpenView. She has a passion for telling compelling stories about technology that is changing the way people work and live.