Four States Small Business Blog

Avoiding Cliches: How Your "Friendly Staff" and "Great Customer Service" are Killing Your Creative

Posted by Mark Zimmer on October 12, 2017 at 8:00 AM
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marketing clichesYou’re all geared up and excited to finally be putting together your new marketing campaign. You’re full of great ideas—words, phrases, and slogans that you’ve heard others use, so you know they’re attention-grabbers. But is using the tried and true the best choice? Or could it be getting a little (or a lot) tried and true…and tired?

When talking about your business, it’s easy to use clichés. But by using clichés, you could be ruining your creative. You want to provide people with REAL reasons why they should choose your company.

For a successful marketing creative, you’ll want to recognize that if a phrase comes to mind too quickly and too easily, there might just be a good reason why. By taking “The Marketing Road Less Traveled,” you’ll not only engage more with your customers, but your company will be the one that’s top of mind at purchase time.

Here are a few tips that will help you avoid marketing clichés and help keep the focus on highlighting the unique things about your company—things that only you can say.

Think of something that really makes you stand out

  • What do you do better than anyone else in your field? Why is your product so special? You know you’re the best, so tell your customers that! And tell them why they deserve the best—which just so happens to be what you’re offering.
  • Remember the reasons you started your business. USE those feelings and convey those same strong emotions to your customers. Build a bond between you by highlighting your similarities—maybe you started your business because you couldn’t find someone to give you exactly what you’re now providing?

Think about what you do that your competition does not do

  • The store down the street does X and Y. But you do X, Y, and Z. And you add in extra 1s, 2s, and 3s. You’ve always been that way. You’ve always given more. And you always will. Share why this matters to you. Explore the differences and then capitalize on them.
  • Yes, there may be a few of you around, but there’s nobody else just like YOU that does exactly what YOU do. And there’s nobody else just like that ONE SPECIFIC customer. Explain how you’re the ONLY one who can fulfill exactly what they need. And how and why you ENJOY doing it better than “that” other guy.

Think about one thing your customer service is known for and explain why

  • If you recall the title to this little story, you already know NOT to use “friendly staff” and “great customer service” when describing your (of course) friendly staff and great customer service. You’re going to have to get a little creative here. (You can do it—it’s nothing compared to starting a business or being a manager or the marketing director.) So go bold. If you’ve implemented a certain policy that’s well-regarded, explain why you did this, why it matters, and why it brings your employees as much joy as your customers.
  • Think back on those proud moments when someone complimented your staff. They gave a specific reason. What was it? What are other kudos that stand out in your mind? What was the remark the new kid came running to tell you—all blushing and proud of his first “Atta boy?” What about your favorite customers? They’ve certainly remarked on why they keep coming back. Use their words and recommendations. Their wording will be fresh and heartfelt—and ring the truest.

Congratulations! You’re now ready to graduate from “What Not to Do 101 Regarding Clichés.” You won’t fall into the trap of sharing things about your company that any other company could say just as well. You’ll actually be sharing something of benefit to your customers—something that’s unique about your business—in a compelling way. And really resonating with listeners.

So, go forth and create. Proudly share those real reasons why someone should pick your company. Draw the listeners in with the real you—that’s good marketing creative!


Topics: Consumer Behavior, Advertising Creative