When ‘Better’ Beats ‘Best’ For a Marketing Strategy
In the cluttered world of marketing and advertising, marketers and brands have been pushed to use superlatives and hyperbolic statements because they believe that using those words will get the consumer response sought for. But, are brands going for too much? Would a ‘better’ strategy, work more efficiently than a ‘best’ strategy?
For example, what does the best “shoe” look like? What does it feel like? We can get even more specific- what does the best “fashion shoe” look like? What should it be designed to do in order to be categorically superior beyond all other shoes?
Not only is it hard for brands to quantify exactly what best means, but asking a consumer to define it will create data just as untrustworthy. Humans think in relative categories, not absolute; so brands going for the ‘best’ strategy are fighting against a natural psychological barrier.
Think of your average consumer or customer. Are they really looking for the absolute best option? Or, are they looking for the option that most fits their situation at the time? Let’s take the ‘fashion shoe’ again. If the consumer sees a shoe that they know is great quality, looks great, but is out of their budget, they are going to pick the next closest option- at that moment, the better option. If a business is evaluating two agencies, which work on the same B2C brands, same agency structure, same thought leadership, but one pitched at a slightly different angle, is that agency truly the best agency in the city? Or just better at that time?
I think you get it.
I like the ‘better’ philosophy because it makes your marketing strategy more agile, more nimble, and provides your brand or account the ability to be proactive instead of reactive. It provides more avenues to prove a brand’s worth, versus defending why it wasn’t picked or chosen in its specific category.
The ‘better’ model is also why I’m a fan of the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) pioneered and updated by Fishbein-Azjen, two marketing professors and researchers of consumer behavior. Under different circumstances and different weights, consumers act differently. So keeping that in mind, TRA provides a model that can show marketers how someone’s decision could fluctuate given different variables.
Now I realize that the hyperbolic slogans and messages won’t go away anytime soon, unfortunately. But if we want marketers to get back on the consumer’s good side, we got to start straying away from the ‘best’, and show consumers how a brand or project we’re advocating for- will help them for the better.