You know what 99-cent stores are, right? (In most parts of the country, I think they’re more often called “dollar stores.”)
If you’ve ever been inside one, you know that not everything in the store actually costs 99 cents. Many stores practice truth in advertising by adding “or more” to their 99-Cent Store Name.
This one, however, covers all the bases: “99 cents, up & less.”
In other words, the prices in this store can be absolutely anything.
I can see why 99-cent store owners might post “and up” signs so people don’t argue over something that costs, say, $1.19.
But that doesn’t mean you should do likewise.
Take a stand! Make your message stick by making it specific and memorable – like the original concept of the big 99 Cents shouting out the store’s unique value proposition in bright red letters.
Whatever you do, don’t waffle. Don’t try to make one message do all the work or keep everyone happy.
Do any of these situations sound familiar?
- The annual report needs to entice not only donors but also potential students.
- We can’t say how much food “your dollar buys” because different families receive different allotments.
- We market to physician practices, law firms, and nonprofits, but we can afford only one marketing brochure.
- We’d like to use current events to show people why they need our services. But we’re afraid someone will be offended if we take a stand.
- We have to get at least a dozen testimonials representing our diverse clients and services before we can put even one testimonial on the website.
- We can’t boil down what we do into a four-word tagline.
If any of these sound familiar, you’re suffering from “up & less” syndrome.
The antidote: Say something concrete. Say it to one specific audience segment. Tell a story. Claim your dream.
Don’t worry that you’re not covering everything you do. You can do that later, after you have people’s attention. First, name your unique value, and put it out there in big, bright red letters.