Marketers talk about it all the time: “position yourself above the competition”, “you need to stand out” and “tell me what makes you unique”.
The problem is, sometimes a business can struggle to come up with the wording that can make them sound unique. So they either mimic the competition or just use claims such as “we’re the best” or “we’ve been in business for xx years”.
But is that enough to convince potential customers? What can you do instead if you’re finding it hard to come up with that statement?
Read on to find out about the 6 different ways to position yourself above the competition. You can either pick one to run with when writing about your business or use a different strategy whenever you have a new campaign.
1. A unique selling proposition
If you’re sure that your brand, service or product has a unique attribute that offers a consumer benefit unlike any other, then perhaps a unique selling proposition (USP) can help you stand out.
You first identify the major differences that make you or your service or product unique, and then you develop a strong but clear advertising statement that only you can make. Your competition shouldn’t be able to make the same claim as they’re not offering the same thing.
But the USP doesn’t have to be about the benefits and outcomes. It can be about something unique you’re doing for your target market that positions you above the competition.
2. The transformational message
This type of message helps the customer get a sneak peek into the experience of using the service or product and how they’ll feel after using it. You develop a statement that describe this experience and outcome. It could be as simple as “every child should be able to afford good shoes”.
Another way is to show what could happen if they don’t use your service or product (playing on their fear of missing out). Specsavers does this really well through their “Should’ve Gone to Specsavers” campaign designed to encourage us to test our eyesight.
You can see this type of messaging in adverts for mobile phones, cars, clothes and shampoo.
3. A statement that plays on emotions
This works well with services and products that people are buying for others. For example, they could be buying jewellery for their engagement, wedding and Valentine. Or it could be something they buy when they want to feel good or after they lose their pets or when preparing their parents for retirement.
In your messaging, you use the words that play on their positive or negative emotions (such as happiness, fear, excitement, innocence, guilt, regret, disgust, embarrassment, compassion, nostalgia, love and dislike).
This helps move customers to take action sooner rather than later.
Real Life Insurance uses fear in their ads (e.g. “Who would look after your kids’ future if something happened to you?”) to help move people to take action.
4. A claim that customers resonate with
If you’ve done in-depth research about your typical customer, you’d know a lot about them and enough to determine what kind of story would resonate better, connect them with your service or product, and help position yourself above the competition.
This works well when you don’t want to focus or can’t decide how to focus on a service or product claims, user experience and how they would feel after using the service or products.
You might want to use storytelling or show them a “what if” situation. As in, right now their life is X but we can make it easier for them by doing this and that. How do you make their worries, pains and fears go away? Or how do you turn their dreams into reality?
The RAC does this a lot in their messaging.
5. A pre-emptive message that claims your superiority
One of the easiest ways to position yourself above the competition is to make a claim around a specific attribute or benefit that your brand, service or product offers. This would be a claim that helps show your superiority over the competition even when they, too, could have easily made the same claim.
The difference is you claimed it before they could.
For example, Westpac has a campaign targeting individuals who are separating from their partners or going through divorce. It claims that “if you’re separating, we’re here to help”, something I have not seen other banks claim that they, too, support couples.
The fact that Westpac is making this claim in their adverts prevents other banks from making similar claims. They wouldn’t want to be seen as copycats. Westpac has advantage over them.
Another example is DiDi’s claim that “your safety is our top priority”, something that they know is very important to riders (possibly due to safety issues that I’ve read in the news about their competition and also due to the fact you’d be ridesharing with strangers).
6. When all fails, use a generic statement
If you’re a leader already dominating your industry or controlling a large percentage of the market but are struggling to come up with a claim that makes your brand, service or product appear superior, then maybe the best option is to focus on the attributes and benefits that make you stand out.
For example, there’s a shoe repairer in my local shopping centre who uses “Good Shoes Take You Good Places” (a meme I’ve seen before on Pinterest, but he’s the first I’ve seen using it on a kiosk). He’s one of the only two shoe repairers in the building, so probably not much a competition going on, and he probably doesn’t find it necessary to claim superiority over the other bloke.
This kind of generic message sticks in people’s minds (see, I remembered it for this article) and helps raise brand awareness so that people think “I need someone who can repair my shoes really well” when they want their good shoes to last longer. Easy way to position yourself above the competition
Another example is Woolworths’ “The Fresh Food People” claim.
Reach out today for more information on how, as a copywriter, I can help you get your message right for the right audience through the right medium at the right time.