What Do You Do When Your Product Isn’t Different?

What Do You Do When Your Product Isn’t Different?

Differentiating your product or service from the competition gives you the upper hand.

It piques interest.

It helps you win business.

But what do you do when you know – in your heart of hearts – that your business does not have a strong differentiator?

That’s where great messaging comes in.

Great messaging creates a niche.

     Example: You get rid of pain so fast you’ll fast-track through life.

Weak messaging sounds as if it could belong to any product or service – and doesn’t create a product distinction.

     Example: Our product relieves muscle cramps, joint pain, and headaches.

Great messaging needs no further explanation. It’s informal, original, and sets your product apart from your competition.

In the example above our product becomes the “fast-track pain reliever” – a memorable claim no other pain reliever uses.



See what great messaging can do for your business.

If you want to make more money, we will help you find your niche – and then help you fill it with Words that Sell.

Call now for a complimentary consultation. 917-670-3554.

Crafting Your Integrated Messaging Strategy

Crafting Your Integrated Messaging Strategy

What is an integrated messaging strategy?

It’s pretty simple, really.

It means that all forms of communications and messages are carefully linked together so that they work in harmony across all media platforms. In other words, your brand’s main message is consistently communicated every time a prospect or customer sees or hears from you, and your unique differentiator is at the core of every message. 

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing ideas that help you get clarity around your messaging, as well as simple and cost effective ideas for integrating consistent messaging across all marketing platforms – website, social media, email, print, blogs, etc. 

Today, we’ll talk about features vs. benefits. 

This is the best explanation of features vs benefits I’ve ever seen. Nobody really cares if Coke is low in calories. What we care about is knowing that if we drink Diet Coke as opposed to a sugary drink, we won’t gain weight, and we’ll look better in our clothes. 

Look for the Coke message for your brand. What do you do for your customer? How does your service make them feel, look, act? Does it help them become more successful in business, save money, or make money? That is your story – and you need to stick to it, across every media platform. This will ensure that your readers can always rely upon a consistent, authentic message about your brand.  

What’s Wrong with Giving Good Service?

What’s Wrong with Giving Good Service?

There’s nothing wrong with good old fashioned excellent service.

After all, American commerce is built upon it.

But when you want to differentiate yourself from your competitors, you have to find something else.

You need something bigger, better, more unique.

We’ve spent the last decade helping clients find their unique differentiators, which we then use as their messaging base.

And I want to share what we share with them.

Find Your Competitive Edge

– Write down all of your clients’ pain points
– Next to each, list how you solve their problems
– In the third column, note which ones competitors say they solve – and how
– Now review the lists.
– Whatever you solve (and your competitors do not) is your unique differentiator.
– Promote it.
– Advertise it.
– Lead with it.

P.S. What are your pain points? I’d love to hear from you.

The One Thing that Drives Success

The One Thing that Drives Success

What’s the one thing every business needs to do in order to be successful?

(Hint) It also seems to be one of the hardest things to do.

Determine what makes your business different from the competition so that every communication promotes those unique capabilities, and you attract ideal customers.

Do you know what your unique differentiators are that make prospects want to buy from you – and only you? 

Let me ask you this. When someone asks you what is different about your business, do you:

  • Have an immediate answer of about 20-30 words long?
  • Does your answer address the top pain point for your ideal customer?

If not, read on.

Differentiating your business makes it memorable and credible. It helps your prospects quickly understand what you do and what sets you apart from your competitors. This unique difference is also known as your value proposition and should be the basis of all your marketing.

A Great Tip for Differentiation

Promote your core value. To do this, of course, you have to know what your core value is. For us, it’s Writing the Words that Sell our Customers’ Products and Services.

Google’s core value is organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful.

In contrast to most other companies that focus on profit, Disney focuses on the intangibles that make the Disney brand unique and distinct. The core value for their theme parks is to create happiness by providing the best in entertainment for people of all ages everywhere.

What is your core value and how can you share your values with your ideal customers, thereby setting yourself apart from the competition? I would love to hear from you.

How to Create Thought Leadership Content

How to Create Thought Leadership Content

Thought leadership builds trust in your audience. It elevates your company and your industry to a higher level of thinking about the problems your customers face.

Thought leadership content is insightful, quality-focused, and takes more time and effort than even the best regular blog post.

Thought leadership is more than just good. It seeks to drive change.

When Are You Ready to Delve into the Magnificent World of Thought Leadership Content?

When you want to grow your brand and have a unique perspective on the marketplace.

There isn’t a formula for writing great thought leadership content, just like there isn’t one formula for creating a great soufflé.

Thought leadership is one of the most powerful ways for brands to establish authority and grow … to boost brand awareness and increase market share.

Typically, they are longer than the normal blog post – but not always. Sometimes they cite other key authorities and include quotes. They are always well researched and meaty.

Add to the Conversation

Thought leadership is a superb way to build a brand and set it apart in the marketplace.

It takes time and effort, but is generally well worth it.

Your company website is the perfect place to house thought leadership content and establish your business as an innovator and leading source of information. By providing insight, guidance, and encouragement, you build trust while adding  value to your community and customers.

Ways to Build Brand Loyalty

Ways to Build Brand Loyalty

Strategy 1: Create An Amazing Customer Experience

Starbucks and Apple. What do they have in common? They are both brands built upon customer experience. Their founders understood their customers and created experiences that fed into their customers’ emotional needs.

How Can You Juice Up Your Customer Experience?

Is Starbucks really the best coffee in the world? Is Apple really that much better than Microsoft or Android? Many people would say no. But how fun is it to walk into a store and order your coffee exactly the way you want it? Or walk up to a counter and get to talk to a computer genius, who supposedly can solve your tech problems. How often do you get to do that in life? Companies should aim to deliver that same kind of customer experience in every aspect of customer interaction by:

  1. Doting upon their customers and providing unexpectedly remarkable customer care
  2. Embedding this attitude into their corporate culture so that everybody – from sales assistant to receptionist – focuses on delivering remarkable customer experience

Strategy 2: Surprise and Innovate

There are some companies that just never stop inventing. OK, it can be a little annoying because you never feel you are keeping up. But how many people just have to have that next generation iPhone?

How Can You Juice Up Your Innovation?

Never be satisfied. Even if your customers seem content, always be watching for that next innovation that you could install, or a new way to solve a problem. Then let everybody know about it – with enthusiasm.

Strategy 3: Reward Loyalty With Loyalty

I work out three times a week with a personal trainer. It’s not just that he helps me build up my strength. What I really love about him is his point of view when it comes to the people he works with. For one thing, he puts his most loyal customers first. Notice I said most loyal – not his most profitable clients, but those who have been with him the longest and love him the most. What is the result for him? He has a core group of raving fans, who sing his praises to all their friends and have helped him expand his business.

How Can You Juice Up Your Loyalty Program?

Take a look at the customers who have been with you the longest. Why are they so loyal? Are there ways that you can tie the bonds even tighter? Most of all, don’t take them for granted! Loyal customers get deeply and emotionally involved with your brand. And they spread the word.

Strategy 4: Be Responsive

A mid-sized law firm in the Midwest had a policy that a partner returned every phone call within 24 hours – no matter what. This level of responsiveness was so engrained into their culture that they didn’t even think about it. However, one very smart marketing executive realized how unusual this level of responsiveness was and created an ad campaign around it. The company even arranged that their phones be answered 24/7 and a partner was always on call. The result? Increased new business, which generated additional revenue.

How Can You Juice Up Your Responsiveness?

Companies that want to juice up brand loyalty don’t have to go too much further than this one. Do you return customer calls the same day? Is every problem dealt with quickly and decisively? Are you ahead of what your customers want and try to provide those things without being asked? If so, you are probably ahead of most of your competitors.

Strategy 5: Spend Quality Time With Your Brand

Of course you’re going to spend time marketing your brand. But it is equally important to understand your brand DNA – what it is that differentiates you in the marketplace and the visceral perception of your brand among your target market.

How Can You Juice Up Your Brand?

One of the strategies for strengthening a brand is to go back to your core values. What do you stand for? What is the ultimate quality that you want to deliver? How should the customer feel after every interaction? Disney is absolutely brilliant at this. They have a published list of core values that they use to train every employee. These core values are so imbued into their culture that every employee knows exactly what to do in every situation – from an ice cream scoop falling off a child’s cone in a park to the care they give to every piece of dialogue uttered by every animated character.

Brand loyalty is no accident. It takes a great deal of strategic thought and follow-up. It is a combination of impeccable customer experience, innovation, and responsiveness.

Are you a Skimmer or a Cliff Diver?

Are you a Skimmer or a Cliff Diver?

I often help customers build a Brand Plan for Success. Essentially this is a detailed plan that states where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and the metrics to determine if you’re successful.

So that you can build your own Brand Plan, here are the TEN ESSENTIALS:

  1. Get Feedback From Customers This may require a customer survey or at the very least a number of client lunches. But the main thing is to find out what your client wants – not what you want to provide.
  2. Focus on A Main Customer Problem Once you know what your customers want, choose the problem or problems you are best equipped to solve and build your brand around it.
  3. Follow Trends Keep on top of trends, both for your own industry and other allied
    industries. Track on social media or wherever people within your industry go for information.
  4. Know Your Brand Differentiator This is the core of your business. What is it that you offer or do that makes people want to buy from you rather than a comparable service from your competitor?
  5. Know Where Customers Go for Information Do they rely on social media, or prefer to frequent trade shows? Is there a popular LinkedIn group(s)? Wherever your customers gather, be sure to be there offering information, education, and forging relationships.
  6. Identify Words that Customers Want to Hear Then use those words in your marketing messages. Social media is a great place to listen for consumer language.
  7. Set Priorities Create a timetable and stick to it.
  8. Schedule Resources Once you have identified all the key elements of your Plan, check to make sure that you have the resources to implement it. If you don’t, consider outsourcing some of the responsibilities.
  9. Establish Metrics and Track Them This includes increased leads, sales, and/or revenue.
  10. Review. Tweak. Repeat Once you have your structured Brand Plan, follow it, track your success, and tweak where needed.