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The Validity Factor

Date Added: August 01, 2009 03:29:01 AM
Author: Emlv PR3 Directory
Category: Business & Economy: Marketing and Advertising

The Validity Factor

Author: Derek Fisch

How believable are you?

Come on down, we have the best selection and the lowest prices in town!”

How many times have you heard (or made) a claim like this? How is it possible for so many competing businesses to all have the lowest prices in town? Somebody actually does have the lowest prices, but how many people actually know who it is?

With everyone making the same generic claims, today’s consumer ends up tuning them all out. All claims become suspect, ignored and ineffective. There is so much information that is essentially the same that the consumer can’t tell who offers the best product or service for their specific needs. Everyone is professional, has integrity, great customer service, stands behind their work, has the best value, selection, and price. Or at least they claim to. So how does the customer know which business to buy from?

With all things being equal, at least in appearance, the consumer will base the decision on price, proximity, packaging, or some other factor that has nothing to do with the inherent value of the product or service. In an indistinguishable herd of competitors, the business with the best location or biggest marketing budget will usually win. If you think that the superior product will always emerge victorious, you’re in for a rude awakening.

So how do you get people to believe you when you say you have the best product, or the best price, or the largest selection? How do you convince someone that you really do have superior customer service?

Most businesses simply state that they have the advantage, without backing it up or providing any specifics. They leave it at the vague conceptual stage. They’ll say that they have the best prices in town, and it doesn’t even register in the mind of the consumer. It’s like the nondescript tan building that they drive past every day on their way to work- they don’t even take notice. If it does register with the consumer, they’re thinking something along the lines of “The lowest prices in town? Yeah, you and everyone else.”

The answer is to give the consumer something specific to believe, and a compelling reason to believe it. Consumers get more savvy every day. They’re not likely to believe something they see in an advertisement. You need to reinforce and fortify your claims with specifics. Make your strongest claims up front, with examples. For instance, instead of saying you have great customer service, tell them something specific that illustrates that customer service.

General claim: “We stand behind our work.”

Specific, believable claim: “If you ever have a problem with our product, bring it back in and we’ll fix or replace it on the spot, no questions asked.”

Which of those two sentences sounds stronger? Which is going to inspire more confidence, and thus more purchases?

The specific claims go well beyond a no-impact, forgettable generality. It goes right to telling the consumer exactly how you can back up what you claim, and makes it believable. The consumer’s mind lets banalities pass right through, but specifics and especially numbers it tends to grab onto.

Another factor that leads to believability is a unique claim. What can you say that no one else can? You should always promote your points of differentiation from your competition, and the more rare your claim, the more the consumer is going to think that this is something that he or she hasn’t heard before. More attention is paid, more confidence is created.

Try this exercise: look through your marketing materials- brochure, website, yellow pages ad, catalog, whatever. Write down the main points you’re promoting. Are they specific? Do they relate directly to you and you only? If you were to take out your name and put in the name of another business, would it still make sense? (Hopefully not.) Is everyone else in your business category saying the same thing? Lastly, what assurance can you give to the consumer that they’re not at risk? Can you make a compelling and explicit guarantee? Again, specifics count.

Whenever you’re in doubt about how to express something, be as specific as possible. Don’t assume that consumers will ever be able to figure it out themselves, even if it seems painfully obvious to you. People won’t educate themselves about your business, you have to tell them exactly what you want them to know.

Simply by being clear, you’ll cut through the clutter. And you’ll be rewarded with excessive business from customers grateful that someone has finally told them what they want to hear.

Article Source: Link

About the Author:

Derek Fisch is founder and President of Velocity Media, a full service marketing and advertising firm | http://www.velocitymediainc.com .

Follow Derek on Twitter at http://twitter.com/derekfisch

NOTE: You’re welcome to “reprint” this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered, including the “about the author” info at the end..


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