Use Differentiation Rules for a Marketing Message That Sells

How To Use The SUDS Messaging Formula

FastPath SUDS

The differentiation rules I describe in the SUDS Messaging Formula article work. Does that guarantee your success? Sorry to say, no, but it'll put you ahead of 90% of your competitors - by making sure your message is crystal clear.

That's because a compelling value proposition isn't just your message – it sells your offering. Having clear differentiation and positioning in your prospect's mind makes all the difference in the world.

Ask yourself why someone should buy from you instead of a competitor – if your answer is 'best price, 'best customer service', or 'fast shipping', your hard work may not pay off. That's because these qualities normally don't make a business unique.

As mentioned in the Value Proposition Checklist article, implicit differentiation is important. But, having 'great customer service' is not in itself enough.

All companies should deliver great customer service. The trick is to be extraordinary in that delivery. If your category and competitors happen to be known for really slow shipping, and you can guarantee fast deliveries, then go for it!

An Example of How To Use The SUDS Messaging Formula

A great differentiation and positioning statement will often contain a quantitative claim about uniqueness. In other words, prove WHY customers should do business with you. This is a key factor in the differentiation rules.

You may have to use a little marketing liberty by giving 'typical' values or ranges, but of course never stretch the truth. It's always a great idea to show how you've helped others achieve results. If needed you can aggregate your successes.

Here's an example of how to put together a message using the SUDS formula. Imagine that you're the founder of SecurSupport LLC that provides virtual information technology support services. Included are remote monitoring and management services, security protection, and an always-available help desk. Based on your deep knowledge of the market and the profile you developed, you know that your perfect customer is a the president or finance officer at a high-tech, law, or financial services company that has between 35 and 75 employees at two or more locations.

Segment and Unmet Needs: SecurSupport works with medium sized high-tech, law, or financial services companies with multiple office locations and who struggle to protect their data from hackers and worry about the cost of a data breach.

Differentiated Outcome: We help them identify and eliminate vulnerabilities that threaten their PC security, without spending a lot of money.

Story or Proof: Our secure, remote support solution replaces multiple remote access tools with a single solution that typically increases first call resolution rates by 100% and decreases on-site support visits by 70%.

This statement nicely incorporates all the elements of SUDS: the market segment or category, unmet need of the target audience, differentiated outcme or advantage over competition, and proof of what customers can expect.

Notice that these four elements were used in the same order as the SUDS formula. This key because of the way our minds process information.

Differentiation Rules Work!

In summary, a great and compelling core marketing message:

  • Differentiates you from your competitors;
  • Identifies undeniable value you can deliver in terms of your offerings, your people, and your expertise;
  • Demonstrates how that value enables your prospect to improve their very specific business results, and;
  • Proves it in hard numbers or percentages.

Ideally, your core marketing message should be said in one sentence. However, just having these elements clearly defined allows you to use as needed in ALL of your written materials, presentations, on your website, and during conversations with prospects.

Work on it and refine until you are able to concisely convey who your target customers are, what you provide to them, and why they buy from you.

The SUDS differentiation rules will help you to develop differentiation and positioning that will quickly capture your company's value and explode sales. If you can include your implicit differentiation, then that's a bonus.

Other Related Articles You'll Enjoy

Build a Powerful Value Proposition Into Your Story 
What's your value proposition? You may be surprised how hard it is to answer this. Hint: Product differentiation is just part of the picture

Time is Money. Stop Talking. Go-To-Market 
7 rules that will move you to an action marketing plan.

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