As a small business owner, you need to think about what really sets your company apart in comparison to your competitors. One of the key distinctions is between differentiators and price leaders.

Price Leader

Price leaders compete against competitors on a cost basis for the business of a highly defined target market. A company that competes with this strategy in mind isn’t necessarily the lowest priced in its industry. Instead, they will try to be low priced in comparison to other firms competing for the same target market. For example, a glue company that competes for the parent target market won’t have private label level pricing but instead would price their product just below brands like Elmers.


Differentiators focus on offering unique or additional features to their product in comparison to others in the industry. The additional features shouldn’t just meet the needs of the target market, they should satisfy the demands of a small segment of that target market. An example of this would be competing in the high-end of the sunglasses industry, which has a target market of individuals with a higher than average income. If you offer a pair of sunglasses that are eco-friendly, then the segment of the target market that has a concern for the environment will have more reasons to purchase your brand over competitors.

These are just some of the characteristics of these strategies, there are plenty more that I encourage you to explore on your own. Defining this for your company can also aid in defining the correct messaging in your marketing materials. Need inspiration for your marketing campaign? Dive into AFEUSA’s host of information and resources to set your marketing on the right track.

Article by
Wayne Goshkarian,
Senior Advisor

Wayne Goshkarian in front of his jet