If you do not differentiate your business from your competitors, you are just another commodity! Being a commodity means that your products are no better than anyone else’s. This drives down your prices, erases profits, and eventually kills your business.
I wrote about what causes commoditization and how to avoid it in a post called Why Does Your Business Exist and Why Should We Care.
In this post Apple entered the MP3 market as a late comer. They were not the “first mover” and the market space already had a large number of competitors who competed on price. The market space was already commoditized.
Apple knew this but they understood that they could still dominate the space by clearly differentiating themselves from their competitors. They identified their key differentiators, measured themselves against their competitors, and realized that they were head and shoulders above the others. They entered the market and still dominate it today!