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The Blah, Blah, Blah List

As promised more insight from Jaynie Smith’s Competitive Advantage workshop that I attended last week.

A common mistake we all make in marketing our business is failing to understand and communicate our competitive advantages. When asked about competitive advantages or USPs most people reply along the lines of:

  • Our results
  • Great customer service
  • Quality
  • Bespoke nature
  • Value for money
  • Being specialist

In reality though these lists have very little unique about them. Have a look at some company websites (or even your own) and see how much of this sort of thing you see:

“Using the latest hi-tech equipment, we are able to supply high quality products, tailored to you exact requirements, at affordable prices. We aim to provide complete customer satisfaction and our business allows us the flexibility and cost effectiveness our customers require.”

“our founderunderstood exactly what [our type of clients] were looking for: professionalism, integrity, reassurance and personal attention. We’ve remained true to those principlesyou can be sure your interests are being cared for by professionals. [All our teams] are made up of specialists in their field. So you can be sure that, whatever your enquiry, you will be talking with someone who understands your query, and can offer expert guidance.”

The above are just two examples chosen from two random websites but what does this actually say about the companies? Exactly, very, very little. These could be any companies.

Jaynie’s point is that this sort of text is just read as “Blah, Blah, Blah” – it does not help sell the company. Why not? Because everybody can claim it.

More importantly, having read the Blah, what is the prospective client’s next question? Yep you guessed it – “How much is it going to cost?”

On the web this is critical because the chances are that there is a cheaper competitor just one click away on a search listing near yours. Fine if you can compete on price but if you can’t, you need to get your competitive advantages across.

The sort of credentials mentioned in the two excerpts above are all well and good. However the reason the prospect does not listen is because they are what they expect. They are the type of credentials you have to have just to be in business.

Further they are also subjective, meaning anyone can claim them. To stand apart on the search engines and the web in general (as well as all aspects of your business) you need competitive advantages that are objective and quantifiable.

In a future post, I’ll look at how this is applicable to search advert copy.

(By the way, please feel free to help us out by pointing out any Blah on our website).

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