We live in a universe of paired opposites.
Proton and electron. Inhale and exhale. Extend and contract. Rise and fall. Male and female. Day and night.
What you embrace does not define you nearly so much as what you exclude.
I’m speaking of self-definition.
EXAMPLE: One person says they love cars made by Ford. Another person says they love Ford “because it is the oldest American brand; I refuse to drive anything foreign.” Which of these persons gives us more insight into who they are?
Any description of what the purchase price includes “at no extra charge” is made more credible by describing what is not included.
I’m speaking of products and services.
EXAMPLE: One air conditioning company says their A/C Tune-up includes cleaning the coils. Their competitor adds, “…and we clean the coils the right way, not the easy way.” Which of these companies gives you more confidence?
Any promise of benefit a customer will gain from your product or service is sharpened and accelerated by contrasting that benefit with what it is not.
I’m speaking of advertising and marketing.
EXAMPLE: The executive team of Jigsaw Health recently spent 3 days in private classes at Wizard Academy. When they explained to us that their magnesium supplement would make a person feel calm and relaxed while it simultaneously boosted their energy, I said, “That sounds like ad-speak. Your ads will be more believable when you describe what the product is not, and what its benefits are not.”
These people understood.
These people got to work.
They wrote, “Our cravings for artificial stimulants and relaxants increase when we don’t get enough magnesium.” They wrote, “Magnesium is a mineral, not a vitamin. And it has been stripped out of the foods we eat.” And, “Magnesium delivers optimistic energy, not caffeine energy,” and, “It makes you feel yoga-relaxed, not alcohol-relaxed.”
Have you ever noticed how every mission statement sounds like every other?
This is because we all believe in the same things; fairness, honesty, integrity, and treating people right. And as our mission statements progress, we begin to double-dip into the same values we’ve already mentioned. “We desire only to make a fair and honest profit,” and, “We believe in treating our employees right,” blah, blah, blah. Predictable ad-speak.
Differentiation is the goal of communication in business.
But you won’t differentiate yourself by explaining what you believe in, or what you include. Differentiation is razor sharpened and rocket accelerated by explaining what you don’t believe in, and what you leave out.
EXAMPLE: One company says, “We believe in gathering all the data.” Their competitor says, “We give you step-by-step solutions, NOT data without interpretation.” Which of those statements is more convincing?
Most people hesitate to define themselves by what they reject, for fear of being perceived as negative.
But is it negative to say, “the right way, not the easy way?” Is it negative to say, “a mineral, not a vitamin?” “Optimistic energy, not caffeine energy?” “Yoga-relaxed, not alcohol-relaxed?” And when you say, “step-by-step solutions, NOT data without interpretation,” you’re excluding an idea, not a person.
Give some thought to what you are not. Tell people what you don’t believe in.
It won’t change who you are, but it will definitely change how people see you.
Roy H. Williams
PS – The Young Writer’s Workshop is for students 12 to 16 years old, accompanied by a parent. July 5-6.
PPS – Create an ad campaign that will eclipse anything you’ve ever done before. August 21.
Dr. Cristal Glangchai, an educator with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and two doctoral certificates, says the time to start teaching kids about business – especially girls – is when they are 5 years old. She says working with children pre-first-grade sets an entrepreneurial foundation before kids get funneled into the stereotypical career mindset that discourages girls from pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Dr. Glangchai is CEO of VentureLab, a non-profit that teaches youth tech entrepreneurship, starting at age five, with the goal being to get kids to think like entrepreneurs – anticipate needs, innovate, create, and take calculated risks. (The wizard says he plans to investigate for his grandkids. Quite an endorsement. – Indy Beagle) Listen and learn at MondayMorningRadio.com.