Me-Too Positioning gets you Nowhere in B2B Marketing

The other day I was speaking with a prospective B2B software client who needed to better differentiate itself in its market. When I asked the President of the company to tell me what makes his product more special than the next provider, he referenced the following:

  • Our product is easy to install
  • We provide incredible service
  • Our product is available at a very competitive price point

My reply to this business leader was something you might expect. I told him that at least five of his top competitors can not only say the same thing, but they already are! Like the title of this article says, me-too brand positioning will get you nowhere, fast. Me-too brand positioning is not worth the paper it is printed on. Throw it out, forget about it and find a more distinguishing way to differentiate your business. One caveat, however: There are certain times when me-too messaging must be used to ensure a sales prospect that you have the same table stakes every other provider does. The key, however, is that if you must use me-too messaging; by no means hang your hat on it. Instead, use it as back-up messaging. You must put that repetitive positioning behind more substantial competitive positioning that will really set your business apart from the rest or your sales opportunities will surely fall flat.

This example, I’m afraid, is all too common today in business. Business leaders and even marketing personnel do not take the time to look at what the competition is saying about itself before developing and utilizing its brand messages. This is a dangerous path to take and one that usually leads to lost sales opportunities.

Every business, whether large or small, or new or established, has something it can hang its hat on in terms of distinguishing characteristics. It is critical to business success that you figure out what those things are and build your elevator pitch and key messages around those points. While each business is unique and will have its own differentiating areas, there are some trite statements and phrases to try your best to stay away from, because your competition is likely already using them, and they do very little to make you stand out. Some of these overused and really non-differentiating aspects include:

  • Best-of-breed solution
  • Easy to use (try to find a better way to say this such as intuitive navigation, e.g.)
  • Industry leading (you’ll note that this is hugely overused today!)
  • Increase performance (it’s better to specify what aspect of performance)
  • Improve efficiency (it’s better to specify what aspects are performed faster and with less resources)
  • Rock-solid (what does this even mean in terms of business value?) Why not say dependable or reliable and state the reason(s) why?

I must reiterate that there are select instances when some of these words must be used, but as a general rule they should be avoided at all costs.

Customers buy B2B goods and services based on specific aspects of price, service, features, reputation, reliability, interoperability, comprehensiveness and others areas. As a business owner and/or marketing professional, it is your job to figure out what unique aspects your business has/offers and build your company’s brand positioning around those points. This distinguishing messaging will help you stand above your competition and will go a long way in terms of strengthening your sales and marketing efforts.

Kevin Levi

Kevin B. Levi
22 year B2B marketing professional with a specialty in helping businesses differentiate themselves. Kevin has helped over 100 companies successfully distinguish themselves in their marketplace through brand positioning programs and professional copywriting services.

Find out more about my full range of business branding, writing and key message development services at www.winningmessage.com. Also check out my online brand positioning course at UDEMY.com at at https://www.udemy.com/differentiate-your-brand-and-sell-more/learn/v4/overview

Comments

  1. Great information Kevin. Me2 is not the swan song of a leader. Positioning changes the dynamic of sales.

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  4. I am very glad with your blog. It’s really very interesting post full of valuable information very well written by u. The key part of this post is its descriptive way to define anything. I liked it with my heart. This post is a excellent example of such kind of thread.

  5. Great article Kevin. As with any company that wants to succeed in business in today’s world you must learn to separate yourself from your competitors. One of the easiest ways to do that is by create a USP or unique selling proposition for the business. You must make yourself unique today…price, service, or age is no longer unique.

  6. mmcsysteminc says:

    Thanks Kevin Levi for sharing this post.. very inspiration article.. really i enjoyed a lot..
     
    Sowrabh Sharma “Sab”