Gartner Research

Marketing Essentials: How to Differentiate a Commodity Hardware Product

Published: 24 December 2009

ID: G00173091

Analyst(s): Laura McLellan, Jeffrey Hewitt


IT hardware products offer room for differentiation, but appropriate steps must be taken to move successfully beyond a commodity label. Gartner describes a process for marketing to use when developing the differentiation approach and provides three recommended methods of differentiation.

Table Of Contents
  • Overview
  • Introduction
    • Challenges
    • Implications
  • Background and Context
    • Who Labels Products a Commodity?
    • Marketing Experts Offer Multiple Solutions for Differentiation
    • Gartner's Research on Commoditization
    • Gartner's Suggested Differentiation Methods
  • Best Practices
    • Step 1 — Analyze Differentiation Approaches
    • Step 2 — Initiate Customer-Facing Campaigns
    • Step 3 — Launch, Monitor Results and Adjust as Required
  • Differentiation Examples
    • Rackable Systems
    • Apple iPhone
  • References
  • Conclusions

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