This post explores three marketing claims that are at risk of being over used, making them less effective.

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“We’re an Industry Leader.”

Buyers often hear the “industry leader” claim, especially in the B-2-B space.  Some manufacturing companies use this claim without providing the evidence that they’re actually the leader, which has me believing that the leader position may be self-appointed.  If that’s so, then it’s a claim driven by an egocentric approach rather than a customer-centric approach.

Based on an article by Economy Watch, an industry leader is defined as “Those brands, products or companies that have high dominance in the industry. Industry leaders have the largest percentage of market share with respect to overall sales revenues.  Industry leaders are able to sustain their market dominance due to their image, distribution coverage, promotional expenditure and perceived value in the market.”  A few examples that come to mind include Microsoft in the digital arena, P & G in laundry detergent and InSinkErator in kitchen disposers.

Consider how many players there are in certain product categories in the B-2-B arena.  For example, there are 753 metal stamping companies serving manufacturing customers in Illinois.  In such a fragmented business category, has one company been able to emerge as a dominant player?

I suggest that if you want to impress buyers, prove you are a leader.  Leading companies excel in every facet of their business, from employee relations to product quality to innovative processing techniques.  If your company can reach the highest bar on key measures of success, then the leadership claim would be appropriate.

“We have the best quality.”

Many companies make marketing claims based on product quality.  It’s a cost of entry for many business categories so be ready to back it up and not just claim it.

You can back it with testimonials or endorsements.  Consumer brands so it with celebrities and professional atheletes. Of course, most small business owners can’t afford them to promote their brand so look to your industry for its own “celebrities” or “rock stars”.

Another approach to making the “quality” claim work for you is by using independent studies or certifications.  You could provide the results of a study that documents the level of effectiveness of your product. This leaves little doubt in the mind of the customer about the objectivity of your claim.

“We are proud to serve our customers.”

This claim doesn’t tell the prospective buyer much about the service or product’s actual benefits.  It focuses on the emotion the seller feels about their product.

Consumers will have a hard time relating to this claim because it doesn’t address their value equation.  That equation is usually expressed in questions like “What do I get for my investment (ie, my money)?”  Consumers or buyers want to know what your product will do for them.  Will your sporting equipment improve my score?  Will your tires give me better gas mileage?  Will your windows make my home more energy efficient?

Conclusion  

Marketing claims like these have worked in the past.  However, they are worn out in today’s competitive marketplace.  You have to back them up with evidence if you want to win over new customers.  Make sure your marketing claim addresses their needs and desires, not the company’s.

Support your claim by offering a solid proof statement to your prospects.  This means you must have a good understanding of the problems they face and how your product will help to solve them.  It also means you must use strategies such as data or testimonials to back up your marketing claim.