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(COPYWRITING) Parity Advertisers Arent All Alike

12-18-2013

Sometimes it seems that there is nothing to distinguish your client from all the other advertisers in their category.

Typical clients who seem to fall into the parity pit are travel agents, cell phone service providers, mortgage brokers, independent insurance agents, automotive dealers, mattress retailers, home heating dealers, and appliance stores.

You wont like my saying this but the lazier we are, the more of our clients seem to be parity advertisers.

You see I dont feel there are any real parity advertisers. Each one has something unique, or at least there are ways to make that advertiser unique in the minds of potential customers. But it takes work.

How can you make em stand out? Try these six approaches to lift your parity clients up from the crowd.

1. Probe for stories from your client.

Asking questions that unearth tales from your clients experience can be the most rewarding and surprising technique. Every client serves his or her customers in a unique way. Often theyve forgotten or overlooked the gems that you can polish and bring to light.

Ask your client, What do you wish people knew about you or your business that they dont now? What benefit that you provide do you wish everyone knew about?"

2. Create stories from the threads you uncover.

The stories can be word-for-word replications, or wild exaggerations. They can be told by the client, by customers, by actors, or by announcers. They can be funny, quirky, dramatic, mysterious, or interesting to the target audience in any number of other ways.

3. Talk to customers.

Customers will reveal things that your client probably doesnt know. Youll find out the real reason people shop there, the unexpected uses for the advertised product or service, likes, dislikes, praise, and criticism all of which are fodder for stories.
 
4. Whats in a name?

Are there any ideas that come from the company name? Any word-plays, parodies, ideas for a series of episodes, opportunities to create characters, explain a USP, sing a song, or otherwise implant your client in the listeners awareness? 

5. Pull back the curtain.

What goes on behind the scenes at your clients business? Explain your clients process, recipe, business methods, philosophy, or reasoning. It may be the same as their competitors, but if your client is the first one to explain it, then everyone else has to play catch-up.

6. Put a face on your client

Using approaches 1-5 will help you create personalities for your parity clients. This last approach may be the key distinction between your client and the rest of the pack. Is the owner brash, outspoken, quirky, humorous? Does the team of employees have any common traits? Do they play on a sports team, tell bad jokes, act silly, take everything too seriously, or treat customers like family?

Show your audience whatever makes your client unique. People dont buy from institutions. They buy from other people.

To get your very own free copy of Hedquists List of 217 Cliches, email me jeffrey@hedquist.com and Ill send them. Guaranteed to reduce commercial effectiveness.



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