top of page

Join 900+ Readers



How to turn your Nice to Have business into a Need to Have: 1 Positioning Strategy and 4 ways to frame your Brand Message

red or blue pill matrix

Is anyone else getting bombarded by this Davek umbrella ad on social media? Well, it got me thinking - how does a company differentiate an umbrella and charge $150?

Davik Umbrella

By making it the only umbrella you'll ever need.

Davik Umbrella Copy

It wasn't so long ago when toothpaste brands would compete on only a few features and benefits, like “freshens breath” and “fights cavities.”


Today, their customers have come to expect their toothpaste to remove plaque, prevent gum disease, and whiten teeth.


That's what happens in a competitive market. Everyone copies each other and begins to look and sound the same.


Your Communication goal is to own a space in the customer’s mind. And to do this you need to differentiate yourself.


Take marketing companies - most talk about growth - success, SEOs -inbound marketing

Generic Copywriting

and although their words may not be identical - the feeling you get is well - you don't have any feeling for them because generic words blend into one another.


And that's the problem.


If you're aiming for your customers to say "I want this!" then you need to frame your business in a way that gets them excited.


Take a look at Darkhorse Marketing's Website

Darkhorse Copy
DarkHorse Marketing

While they too talk about SEO and PPC, their message is bold, memorable, and even makes you feel "scared/ intrigued / curious

The easiest way to think about differentiation is to think about giving people a reason to choose you over others.


A good place to start is to ask yourself Are you a Painkiller or a Vitamin?


In other words - Are you solving a problem now or preventing a future one?


I first heard this analogy on a podcast where they classified businesses into one of two camps

Painkillers solve an immediate need - a NOW problem. It becomes a "need-to-have". You're easier to sell because your customers can achieve their goals right away. Painkillers focus on the benefits your customers see for themselves today and you just need to show you're better than your competitors.

While Vitamins are seen as businesses that are “nice to have." Their services often provide long-term benefits. They’re an investment that will help you make progress on larger goals. Vitamins paint a picture of what customers might be someday. Because you're not a "need to have" your Customers will hesitate when making a purchase decision.

The trick is to create a demand and turn your Vitamin qualities into painkiller elements in your copy and communication.


4 Ways to Frame Your Vitamin Business as a Painkiller and get your clients to say YES

Words like “cheaper,” “faster,” “stronger,” “longer-lasting,” etc., don't differentiate you, (being the cheapest can have negative connotations - cheap = low quality and low value).

1/ Find a Villain

Point at the status quo and pit yourself against it.

  • Duck Duck Go pit themselves against Google and the lack of privacy

  • Lemonade Insurance pit themselves against insurance stereotypes

Duck Duck Go Website

Lemonade Insurance website

2. Loss Aversion: Loss aversion is the tendency to prefer avoiding losses rather than acquiring equivalent gains. By framing your business as a solution to potential losses or missed opportunities, you can trigger a sense of urgency and motivate action.


Businesses can leverage this bias by framing their offerings as solutions to potential losses or missed opportunities. For instance, an investment firm might emphasize the potential losses that could result from not having a solid investment portfolio, prompting clients to take immediate action to avoid those losses.


What you need to do is identify the pains they notice. Listerine goes one step further and compares itself to the failure of just brushing teeth.

Listerine Ad

 A quirky side fact—Listerine didn’t create bad breath, (it was thanks to Gerald Lambert and his discovery of the term “halitosis”). But they did present it as a medical condition that demanded treatment by emphasizing the social implications of bad breath. This albeit dramatic and probably couldn't-get-away-with-it-now marketing strategy proved gold for Listernine's profitability.

3. Address short-term goals and outcomes


Don't talk about something so far in the future that your customers cannot see it. Talk about something that's now right under their noses.

Snickers Hungry ad

4. Scarcity Bias or Urgency One of the most effective cognitive biases to exploit is scarcity bias. When people perceive something as rare or in short supply, they place a higher value on it and feel a heightened sense of urgency to acquire it.


You can use this bias by framing your offerings as limited or exclusive, creating a sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) among your customers.

Scarcity Principle

Scarcity Principle

In 2017, a painting that had originally been bought for $1000 sold for $450 million just by the way it was "framed" (pun intended)


People called it the Last da Vinci, the Male Mona Lisa, The Holy Grail of Art,

The Last Da Vinci Scarcity Priniple

However, a word of warning - the quickest way to lose customer trust is by using Fake Scarcity. Don't put unnecessary limitations to your products and if you say doors are closing make sure you close them.

When writing copy that aims to persuade your audience to take action you first need to be clear on your brand positioning and then bridge the gap that turns a nice-to-have to a need-to-have service.

Enjoyed this? Please take a moment to share it with a friend and subscribe to my weekly newsletter.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page