Using Comparison Words Without a Comparison in Marketing - Montana Webmaster

Using Comparison Words Without a Comparison in Marketing

How are Comparisons Used in Marketing?

My Dog is Smarter than Your Honor Student from Melrose and Fairfax

“My dog is smarter than your honor student.”

dog > honor student

We do get tired of comparisons. We get so tired of them we make fun of them. But what if we made comparisons with nothing on the right side. My dog is smarter. In math, that would look like dog > and nothing more.

And yet, advertisements do that all the time. Words like fast, most-efficient, cheapest, most luxurious, etc, are all comparisons, but they have left off what they are comparing too. In other words, they cannot be validated or quantified. They cannot be pointed out as a lie because they don’t say anything.

So, why do marketers keep using them? Because the market uses them. People search on words like best, luxury, most powerful, etc. without realizing that all they are doing is finding websites that use those words. It’s not like Google is out there doing the comparison shopping for them.

Meaningless Comparison Words in Software Descriptions

“a fast, 2D rendering engine”

I ran into this very thing today in a software training course for a specific development language, “a fast, 2D rendering engine.” 2D rendering engine is a noun with meaning by definition, but fast? What is the base line metric we are comparing this to?

Several of my clients would recognize this theme; data driven requires data. My mantra is to only make assertions you can back up with data, ie. measurements. Otherwise, your competitors can call you a liar with their own comparisons. They can call you a liar anyway. They can provide measurements that don’t compare the same thing, but at least there is some data.

How I Encourage my Clients to Implement Comparisons

If your product has measurements, show them on your website. If you already went to the trouble to create charts for print materials for a trade show, put those same charts on your website.

Photo of pottery all wrapped up
This not-so-beautiful photo illustrates the care that Radius Gallery takes for a small pottery purchase.

Demonstrate the small things that you do for your customers. If you are an art gallery, have photos of how you wrap purchases.

If you use the word “local”, show where you are. Is Seattle “local” to Missoula? If you advertise “local” art, does that mean that all the art you carry is from your town, or that you have some art from your town?

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