Message Differentiation. If you closed up shop today, what would your customers miss the most?


The three parts of a powerful message include

  • providing a truthful view of who you are,
  • differentiating yourself from the competition, and
  • speaking or writing in a compelling manner.

Most organizations – both nonprofits and corporations alike – are pretty good at describing who they are and what they do.  They should be given they live their products and services day in and day out. And, millions of dollars are spent each year at advertising and branding agencies and marketing firms to ensure messages sizzle.

However, too many businesses or nonprofits forget to make sure their story stands out from the competing stories that customers and stakeholders are hearing. Differentiating your narrative from others is an important part of whether or not you are remembered.

In order to start you on the path of differentiating your story from others’, consider the following questions:

  • What is the one thing you believe or think that is different from your direct competitors?
  • What do you do better than anyone else available?
  • If you closed up shop today, what would your customers miss the most?
  • What do your customers or stakeholders report to others about you the most? (Note: Answers to this question provide insight into what your customers believe is your differentiating point.)
  • What is the one thing you can count on your organization doing, saying and delivering to a new customer?
  • What galls your competition the most about you? (Jealousy is insightful, too.)
  • For what would your current customers pay a premium?
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