Being bland is bad for your Brand: Here's how to stand out from the crowd


In the past 6 month I’ve completed two similar pieces of work on marketing campaigns with separate clients in similar industries. 

One was a spectacular success. Gross margins up by 15% and sales up by 20%. The other? Miserable. No increase in margin and sales nudged up by a miserly 2% 

So why is one manager sending me a postcard from her bonus-paid vacation in Australia, while the other sweats away in the office?

The answer is straight-forward. 

  • The winner communicated how customers would be better off by using her product, and did it clearly, simply and persuasively in the customer language. Now she is slapping on sun screen at the beach.

  • The other followed 90% of the industry. He crowed about the technical features of his product, and did so entirely in his language. Now he’s breathing in recirculated office air and downing his 4th weak, thin, coffee of the morning.

When it came down to it, he was the one who quaked at the marketing  paradox.

He couldn’t get past the notion that your take the greatest risk with your brand when your communications are bland.

Bland is bad for the brand

Seems counter-intuitive doesn’t it?

If you want to minimize the return on your marketing dollar, say what everyone else says.

If you want to reduce the conversion rate of your  communication piece talk about your technology in your words. 

Don't stand out. 

Run in the middle of the pack.

“You can’t bore customers into buying”

David Ogilvy

So how can get customers knocking on your door.


First, a key point, and remember this if nothing else: 

The first time a customer uses your product is in their head.

Let me repeat: the first time any of us uses a product, is in our head. 

We imagine in our minds eyes, life with that new car, handbag, bicycle or house way before we ever open our wallets.

The easier you make it customers to run that movie in their head, action, the more likely you are to make a sale.

So your communication has to be relevant, interesting and useful.

Which means you need to:

• touch a nerve

• enter a conversation they are already having with themselves

• provoke curiosity

Do it well and you’ll funnel your the prospect down to one action: placing the order or signning up to your cause. 

And remember most product is an emotional sales clothed in a rational suit. Persuade the heart, it will convince the head to make the decision. 

Let’s see if you’re marketing helps you stand out from the crowd or ties you into the centre of the mob.

All humans (and that includes most in the purchasing department) want to enhance their lives by reducing, removing, adding or heightening emotions.

Facts stimulate thought, emotions stimulate action.

So which emotions is your product capable of soothing, suckling, squashing or strengthening

Here’s the list of 16 to get you going..

-  Anger

-  Betrayal

-  Revenge

-  Fear

-  Frustration

-  Greed

-  Happiness

-  Hope

-  Love/Caring

-  Passion

-  Relaxation

-  Sadness

-  Security

-  Shame

-  Powerlessness

-  Urgency

To download this list hit the button below

If you want to make more sales, to more customers, more often and at higher prices, then sign up for Riot Pointers, tips and tricks, click on this link and leave the rest to me.

PS. If you think anyone else might benefit from this kind of information, pass it on.

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Iwan JenkinsComment