The Holy Grail for marketers is to find something that is truly unique about a client’s offering that at the same time is highly prized by the client’s target audience. Once discovered, the challenge is to communicate this is in a way that impactfully portrays
uniqueness while implicitly or explicitly proving the claim.
Below are two examples of investment firms’ messaging, one of which we view to be a successful effort and one which we feel does not work as well. Both have built their positioning platforms on differentiated client-focus/client-first concepts:
• Objective and independent – no outside shareholders or owners
• Consistently keep costs low (with comparative industry statistics to back this up)
• Consistently strong performance (with comparative industry statistics to back this up)
• More than xx,xxx advisors in more than xx,xxx locations around the world
• Thoughtful investment strategy
• Diversified portfolio of quality investments
• Community-based presence provides accessibility
To us, Firm A is more successful in expressing and proving how it is unique. In contrast, Firm B touts features that the audience cannot distinguish in a measurable way from the claims of a host of similar competitors. This is not to say that the positioning expressed in Firm B is inaccurate. It just doesn’t provide a point of differentiation that we believe would compel action from most prospects.
The conclusion: just saying you are different does not make it so, and while your firm may not be entirely unique, it will always have its own personality, culture and message. Firms must dig deep and work to express what is truly “special” about their organization before they can successfully communicate to the marketplace.