Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Don't Be a Master of the Obvious

We all know that many, perhaps even most advertising messages fall flat in some way.  The scrapbook of campaigns is replete with botches that seemed like good ideas at the time.

To be sure everyone has their tastes and a poor message for one may be a hit for another.  And in that spirit may I share one of my pet peeves?

High on my list of messages that leave me cold are those I label "masters of the obvious".  These are messages that cite as product or service advantages qualities that ought to be obvious, or at least expected.

For example (and I paraphrase): "We use only the best ingredients", "We are the best", "We are all about quality", "Trust is most important", and so on.

Gosh, I certainly hope these sentiments are true!  However, I would expect the message to focus on a true product or service strength, difference compared to competitors, or advantage.  Telling me that a given service is "the best" says nothing if it comes from the service provider.  But I will get suspicious if that's all that can be said.  Similarly, making such claims is flabby reasoning.  Are we to assume all competitors are inferior?  really?

Bottom Line: leave it to the customer to establish the quality and superiority of a product or service.  Use that precious messaging time to inform with strong attention to specific advantages.  Tell the prospective customer exactly how you differ from other choices in ways that are meaningful.  Identify specific needs that you address or solve.  You may find this improves your position with the marketplace!

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