There are plenty of brands that like to shout that they are the best at what they do or at least imply it. How many times have you seen a brand describe their service as ‘exceptional’, ‘innovative’, market-leading’,‘first-class’, or another one of the many often meaningless buzzwords making the rounds at present? While it may be tempting to shout from the rooftops about how good you think your product or service is, this strategy will rarely set you apart from the crowd.

The art of self-deprecation

It may seem counterproductive to admit your weaknesses in your marketing strategy, yet research has shown that the ability to laugh at our own expense can actually help to create more meaningful customer connections. Gone are the days of polished, sleek adverts which refuse to admit fault, nowadays consumers are increasingly looking to align with brands they can trust. And what do you need to display to build trust? Honesty.

We are flooded with marketing daily, from the moment we switch on our laptops, look at our phones or even step outside our homes. While this means there are more platforms to get our marketing material seen, it has also made customers more sceptical of brands and more critical of any claims made. By humanising your brand, demonstrating authenticity and owning your ‘weaknesses’, people are much more likely to want to hear what you have to say.

Don’t take yourself too seriously

In this day and age, it’s easier to break the rules and getaway with it than ever before. Being honest surprises people, which makes them notice your brand and remember.

Think about the Oasis campaign which stated boldly on their posters; “It’s summer. You’re thirsty. We’ve got sales targets.’ This brutally honest approach was intended to appeal to a new generation of customers, combining their ‘refreshing’ drink with an even more refreshing approach to marketing. This campaign was incredibly effective for Oasis, who have since gone onto renounce their marketing altogether; as long as their customers keep buying their product.

Stand out from the crowd

Rather than taking on the same descriptors as your competition, taking a different approach can set your business apart from the rest. Ok, your service or product might not be the best – but what does it succeed in?

Consider the rental car market. While Hertz was clearly championing the industry and were what the industry would define as ‘the best’,this didn’t hold back their rival, Avis.

Rather than pretending they were as good as Hertz, Avis launched their own campaign which championed them as No.2 in the rental industry.Their slogan became: “Avis is No.2 in rent-a-cars. So why go with us? We try harder.” Their argument was that, Hertz were already the best so didn’t have to fight to get there. Avis was pulling out all the stops to keep up, which meant their customers could reap the benefit of that.

Could your business benefit from being more honest in your marketing strategy?

At Skein, we can help you execute effective marketing campaigns and advise you on the best way to appeal to your target demographic.If you’re looking to try a new approach, we can help you get this right.  Get in touch here to find out more.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash