Brand differentiation

Lesson plan overview

This Business English lesson plan is about brand differentiation. Students will learn useful vocabulary to talk about branding, marketing and differentiating products and discuss these important concepts. You can combine it with the worksheets “Phrasal verbs: marketing and advertising”, or “Phrasal verbs: sales and selling“. Related video-based lessons are “Personal branding“, and  “Christmas marketing”.
The lesson starts with a discussion about branding and different brands. students talk about their preferences and why they choose to buy their favourite brands.

Vocabulary: Students learn important phrasal verbs to talk about differentiation (stand out, set apart, rely on) by completing 5 sentences with the correct preposition. To practise, they are given the beginnings of 4 sentences, which they need to complete with their own ideas. Next, students look at a few differentiation mistakes and work out the meaning of key vocabulary terms (USP, niche, post-sale service, market research). They discuss each mistake, saying how it might hurt a business.Then they talk about their organisation, using 4 questions given.

Video: Students watch a video “3 strategies to find your USP (unique selling proposition)” and complete 2 tasks.

Speaking: The last 2 tasks are focused on speaking. Students are given 6 different brands and are asked to dicuss their differentiation strategy. Lastly, students brainstorm small business ideas and then think of ways to differentiate each brand. To revise and practise the target vocabulary further, you can use the printable set of conversation cards.

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Teacher’s lesson plan

Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

Conversation cards PDF

Pre-class activities

To send the pre-class activities to your students, copy the link below.

Vocabulary matching


The first time you watch the video, pay special attention to the correct pronunciation of the following words:

Product differentiation is a company’s ability to effectively communicate to its target customer why its product is superior.
A client visiting the offices of a top investment bank believing themselves to be a VIP client with this VIP treatments might select the investment back in anticipation of VIP results.
The objective of product differentiation is not subtelty.
…and was acquired by UNILEVER just 5 years after it launched.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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