What is it?
Comparative Messaging is all about comparing your offering to the competition or other choices your buyers may have.
Why does it work?
It works because it can make it obvious why a buyer should choose you in the first instance. By doing the thinking for the buyer and laying out the most compelling, basic and obvious reasons why they should choose your offering versus their other choices just makes commercial sense.
How can you use it?
Depending on your offering, you can do a couple of different things here:
1 – Compare to the direct competition. Bad-mouthing the competition is an ill-advised thing to do, but if you do have a distinct advantage that is more powerful when contrasted with your competitors then this is an effective way to do it. (think Mac vs. P.C adverts) You can always use the term “compared to the leading brand” to add a layer of mystery if you need to.
2 – Compare to the broader competition. A more common approach and the one used in our example is to compare against all other competitors as one basket. Dove soap is kinder to skin than “all other” body washes and this is an important factor. Notice how this is reinforced with the barbed wire Semiotics.
3 – Compare to alternative methods. Your direct competition might actually be a different way of solving the problem. Should you use grass seed or just have an artificial lawn? Comparing your offering as advantageous over other solutions makes it easier for buyers to see what’s best for themselves.
4 – Compare to DIY. Many buyers will attempt to do things themselves, so sometimes you might need to focus on why buying your offering is better than doing it yourself and potentially making the situation worse.