A client recently asked for feedback on language for their new service offering. One of their proposed headlines assured these customer outcomes: “build trust and deliver results.” This messaging approach, on its face, may seem strong. Yet if we think through the promise, we can begin to see its weaknesses.

  • NO CLEAR DIFFERENTIATION: Because the language is predictable, it fails to express uniqueness. Great brands communicate their distinction on multiple levels: what they do, how they do it, and most importantly, why they do what they do.
  • NO DEEP RELEVANCE: Because the words are vague, they don’t convey any particular meaning. Brands that inspire passion are connecting on multiple levels: shared beliefs, compelling dialog, and most importantly, valued experiences.

Entering a marketplace without expressing your brand’s uniqueness and relevance is a failure of strategy – a failure to define your competitive advantage. If you find yourself in this position, answer this question: if your company didn’t exist, would it matter? The ensuing "why" discussion will bring insights about your true value proposition.

Once we helped our client through this process, they arrived at an entirely new messaging framework to promote their new brand and its impact – an approach that is both differentiated from their competition and relevant to their customer.