How to create differentiation through creative marketing?

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One of the most important things today, especially when it seems like we’ve seen all types of marketing, is to work on our differentiation. Differentiation is a big word that often when asked, consultants say – your story is your differentiation. Or the niche you’ve chosen is your differentiation.

You know, when it comes to standing out from the crowd, it’s not just about ticking a few boxes. Differentiation isn’t just a single factor; it’s a whole blend of elements that sets us apart from our rivals and peers. But you know what’s often overlooked? How our audience actually sees us.

So let’s talk about Morning Grains Company. The first time I came across their marketing, it hit me like a bolt of lightning. And trust me, you’re going to want to hear about it too, even if it’s just to spark some fresh ideas for your own business.

Take Surreal Cereal, for instance, a British breakfast cereal brand that’s turned heads with its audacious “Fake Celebrities” campaign. This bold move didn’t just get people talking about the brand; it changed the whole game in terms of how they’re perceived by their audience.

In my opinion, they’ve completely reshaped the landscape of creative marketing.

Surreal Cereal’s conceptual differentiation

Surreal Cereal's conceptual differentiation - הבידול הרעיוני של Surreal Cereal

The Surreal Cereal campaign was born out of sheer necessity and a hefty dose of creativity.

The brand was just starting out and couldn’t pull off the celebrity endorsements that their competitors were flaunting. Now, one of the golden rules I picked up from my business management courses is this: spot the gaps and turn them into your strengths. And that’s precisely what Surreal Cereal did. Instead of chasing after big-name celebs, they got crafty. They found regular folks with famous names—think Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, Ronaldo, you name it—and let them give their honest nod to the brand.

Here’s the kicker: when our eyes scan for something familiar, they latch onto those familiar names like a lifeline.

Familiarity equals emotion—whether it’s for better or for worse.

And boy, did Surreal Cereal hit the jackpot with this move. They managed to forge a genuine, heartfelt connection between their audience and the brand, all in the most organic and ingenious way.

And get this—it wasn’t some flashy, expensive maneuver (unlike shelling out for A-list endorsements). It was gutsy, it was savvy, and it paid off big time. Suddenly, their audience saw Surreal Cereal in a whole new light, and that kickstarted the differentiation process like nobody’s business. In my book, their marketing game didn’t just level up—it straight-up exploded.


The role of social networks in the differentiation process

The role of social networks in the differentiation process

The provocative tone, colorfulness, and humorous approach of the campaign spoke the language of social media, and users quickly made the marketing move viral. Within days, Surreal Cereal’s advertisement garnered thousands of comments and achieved better performance than many brands with larger budgets. But what’s amazing is that the campaign also sparked a conversation among marketers and industry leaders about ethics, creativity, and differentiation through marketing.


The audience engagement and its role in differentiation

Despite initial confusion, the campaign succeeded in increasing brand awareness.

Most consumers were interested in the brand, drawn in by its boldness and humor.

The campaign perfectly matched Surreal’s brand statement: ‘The world is serious enough. Why should breakfast be like that?’

The campaign wasn’t just a marketing gimmick but truly reflected the brand’s ethos – and that’s the real differentiation.

When my clients talk about ‘going viral,’ all they see is a number.

They want to reach 10k followers. They want their release to explode. They look around and see their competitors reaching tens of thousands of views (and sometimes hundreds).

Going viral is not the issue.

Put on a bikini, look enticingly at the camera – boom.

Thousands of followers. Hundreds of thousands of views.

But that’s not marketing that supports differentiation (or anything we want or feel comfortable doing).

When thinking about differentiation processes in marketing terms, we need to understand who we are as a brand, what we believe in, who our audience is, and how, within the connection of all these things, to create a differentiated campaign that will make our audience understand where our differentiation lies.

And that’s their true genius.

They understood how to use their unique angle within a campaign and harness the power of social networks to spread it.


How can one create a differentiated campaign for their business?

איך אפשר ליצור קמפיין מבודל עבור העסק? How can one create a differentiated campaign for their business?


  1. Think outside the box. Seriously.

In a market overflowing with options, grabbing the attention of our customers is make-or-break. Surreal Cereal proves that thinking outside the box can yield remarkable results.

Whether you’re a big brand or a small fish in the pond, there’s no harm in shaking things up a bit, as long as it stays true to your brand’s ethos.

Once you’ve nailed down what makes you stand out, the next step is crucial: figuring out how to leverage it to captivate your audience. Get in tune with their emotions, tap into their needs, and understand their unique journey. And hey, if you can bring a smile to their faces along the way—well, that’s the ultimate win.

  1. Testimonials are still a powerful tool

Word-of-mouth marketing continues to reign as a powerful tool in the marketer’s arsenal.

There’s something about real, authentic testimonials from satisfied customers that can instantly foster trust and build a sense of community around your brand.

If you’ve got customers who perfectly embody the persona you’re targeting, don’t be shy—reach out to them and ask for their endorsement.

Whether it’s a glowing review on your Google or Facebook page, or a heartfelt text or video message that you can weave into your marketing materials, every recommendation counts.

But here’s a pro tip before you hit send on that request: take a moment to consider what specific words or experiences you’d like your customers to highlight.

Why not draft up 2-3 questions that’ll guide them in sharing exactly the kind of feedback you’re after? Trust me, it’ll help steer their responses in the right direction.

Take, for instance, our storytelling workshop. We asked participants: “What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed since taking part in the course?”

And you know what? The resounding response was music to our ears: now, they feel equipped to confidently share their story. Talk about hitting the nail on the head! 😊

  1. Be confident in yourselves

Yes, I understand that not everyone feels comfortable in front of a camera or exposing their vulnerable side.

But I’m here just to remind you that humour can make a brand more accessible and it also generates engagement.

Using high-eye and funny marketing materials can help your audience share your unique perspective on social networks.

  1. Stay true to your values

The goal, as I mentioned in the body of the article, is not to create empty virality. It’s not interesting.

Remember, authenticity and deep connection are what create a deep relationship with the audience – and that’s what will make them swipe their credit card for you over time.

Make sure the marketing campaign you choose aligns with your brand’s ethos. With its perspective, with the conversation with the target audience.

Such alignment reinforces authenticity, and it’s known to be the strong currency of brands today.

The audience knows how to smell “fake” and they stay away from it.

The more connected you are to your core, to your unique angle, to your true messages (and of course, be authentic), the easier it will be for your audience to connect with you.


The “Fake Celebrities” campaign by Surreal Cereal is a testament to the power of creativity and boldness in marketing. It shows that with courage, humour, and alignment with brand values, even a simple idea can turn into a marketing phenomenon. This campaign is truly inspiring for me in how I can, even with my small brand, think outside the box and create memorable and impactful marketing strategies.

For me, I know it will also serve my customers – so it’s doubly gratifying.

Have you listened to my podcast on differentiation?

Episode 32 | Your differentiation starts here (Part 1)

Episode 35 | Your differentiation starts here (Part 2)

Episode 37 | Your differentiation starts here (Part 3)


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