There is a concept in business that we marketers call confidence gap. The confidence gap is defined as a potential customers inability to determine whether products or services of a given company are any better, different, or worse than competition’s.
The confidence gap exists in every imaginable industry and in most cases gap is growing wider all of time.
Case in point: go to yellow pages and look under roofing section (or any section for that matter) and see for yourself if, plus or minus 10%, every ad says basically same thing. “Dependability, service, 80 years of experience….blah, blah, blah.”
Going by yellow pages alone it’s almost impossible to tell who will really offer best service, best overall value, and exactly what you need as a customer. It would be helpful if some ads said, “We stink, we won’t deliver on our promises, we’ll quote you one price and then charge you another,” but they don’t. Every company good or bad is essentially saying same thing. As consumers we know that not all companies are equal – but how can we tell? Hence, confidence gap.
But, this problem is not isolated to yellow pages. Take any medium – TV, radio, print, or brochures and compare what competitive companies are doing. You’ll see very quickly that there is almost no significant differentiation. Oh, sure, one company may have a red ad and another a blue ad. One company may have a catchy jingle and other may not, but it’s still hard to tell which company is actually better or even which company gives greater promise of being best choice.
One area of marketing that is atrocious for most businesses is their brochure. Most brochures are loaded with clichés, worn out phrases, and platitudes that don’t mean anything. Like “dependability, quality, and service.” Any company on planet could make a claim like that and you would still have no clue if there business was any good or not.
So what about your brochure? Does it make you obvious choice to do business with, or does it just widen confidence gap?
Here is a quick 4-pronged test to give your brochure (or your other advertising) to see if it has potential of singling your company out as THE go-to company.
1.Does your brochure clearly communicate your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? Most companies don’t have a clearly defined USP. Your USP is what makes you different, better, and unique from your competition. Here are a few famous examples: “When it absolutely positively HAS to be there overnight.” Of course your know that to be FedEx. The success of this Fortune 500 company was built largely on strength of this USP that they could absolutely deliver overnight. Here’s another one – “Hot pizza delivered fresh to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s FREE.” Dominoes pizza, right? You see how they didn’t claim to be best tasting, cheapest (or most expensive); they were fastest…guaranteed.