“Splenda makes the moment yours” is the tagline of a commercial I just saw during the morning news (full video below). At the same time, I happened to be reading and highlighting The Impact Equation, specifically the chapter that deals with Contrast. The concept of Contrast deals with the need for businesses to communicate difference by strategically positioning themselves counter to something that is already prevalent in the marketplace. This could come through in your brand tagline, in your elevator pitch, or in your promotional material.
One example that the authors use to illustrate this idea is a financial planner that, instead of falling into the common trap of advertising his accuracy or care for a client’s money, preaches “I do financial planning for the kinds of people who ride fast motorcycles and think vacations should involve bruises and scars“. You see the different impact the approaches have? The latter disrupts everything you’ve come to expect from financial planners and provides a reason for you to pay attention.
A key element of Contrast is bravery; nobody stands out from the crowd without taking some chances. Which brings us to the Splenda commercial. The positioning statement the brand chose – “makes the moment yours” – is a bit puzzling to me. And, pretty boring. That same sentiment could be applied to coffee, a hotel, a rental car, headphones…you name it. How greater would the impact be if the messaging was “None of the chemical-filled bullsh*t those other guys hide in their sweeteners“? Now, I have no clue if that statement is accurate for this particular product, but you get the point.
Stepping outside your industry’s expectations with a bit of bravery and creativity can yield some impressive results.