Fixating On How You're Different Can Hurt Your Marketing

People don't want to read murky explanations of what sets you apart. They want to know what's in it for them.

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By Kimanzi Constable • Feb 2, 2017 Originally published Feb 2, 2017

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Personal development has changed lives. It has given us the tools and knowledge we need to reach our goals and create success in every area of our life. It has even given many entrepreneurs the opportunity to start businesses around various personal development topics. While there are many great benefits to the personal development revolution, it has also clouded the core messaging and marketing efforts of businesses all over the world.

In business, you are taught that, to stand out. You have to be different than all of the others who are doing something similar to what your business does. In an effort to be different, entrepreneurs brand themselves with New Age labels and personal development catchphrases that sound good but don't clearly demonstrate what the business or entrepreneur does. It's a mixture of personal development principles and internet marketing language that is actually pushing business away.

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If you have been logged into Facebook for even five minutes, you've probably seen an ad from someone with an odd title and vague description of what they do. They have worked hard to make themselves and the system they use sound unique. It confuses the potential lead and discourages them from buying because they just don't understand who you are or how what you can help them.

The best brands make sure their marketing messaging is crystal clear. You understand what the brand means and what the benefit will be if you invest your time and money. People spend money on things they understand. People spend money with entrepreneurs that they know, like and trust. The more explaining required to tell people what you do, the less the chance they will stick around to listen.

Attention spans are short nowadays. There is a small window from when someone sees your website to when they decide to go further or go away. If they are confused, you will likely lose them.

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Clear Brands

At the heart of your branding should be a greater "why" or mission. People don't connect with the mechanics of what you do. Your service or product can have great features but that's not what will connect with potential customers. We, as people, are emotional. We connect with the "movement" behind the marketing. We want to connect with something deeper that feels bigger. Clear brands tap into that deeper message. People aren't confused by what's at the heart of what they do. Clear branding spells out in plain language what is being offered, how and what the brand can do and what the practical benefit will be for the consumer.

New Age brand marketing with spotty explanations can't go deeper. You can't tap into those emotional triggers that get people to notice and want to know more about what you're advertising. This is especially true with digital marketing. You have to get to what's practical and tangible about what you do. When it comes to talking to the consumer, being clear is much better than being different.

If you are not sure about the clarity of your brand and marketing messages, put them to the test. Ask people who are not in your industry to go through your platform. Ask them what's the first thing they see and understand. Ask them if they understand what you do and how you help people. Listen to critical feedback without getting defensive or shutting down. It will help your business if the feedback comes from the right source.

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Clear branding will lead to more business over time. Choose to be clear over being different. Understand your greater "why" so you can create a movement behind your marketing and the business. Don't listen to the hype that tells you people will do business with you when you're different. Realize that no two people or businesses are the same, so you're already different. No need to add confusing to that.

Kimanzi Constable

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Content Marketing Strategist

Kimanzi Constable is an author of four books and has been published in over 80 publications and magazines. He is the co-founder of Results Global Impact Consulting. He teaches businesses modern content strategies. Join him at RGIC.

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