The Singapore Marketer
Image Credit: The Singapore Marketer
Image Credit: The Singapore Marketer

Comparative Claims: Yes or No?

As more and more brands enter the market, all with the ability to easily broadcast themselves to the masses through multiple platforms, it is becoming increasingly harder to stand out and grab consumers’ attention.

Robin De Rooij & Paul Janssen

This leads many marketing executives to instruct their teams to be more aggressive and hard-hitting in their messaging. However, attempts to be “hardhitting” often result in the use of comparative claims – focusing on how a product compares to the competition. After all, comparing oneself directly to others should be an effective method to cut through the noise and demonstrate superiority. However, the real question then becomes whether focusing on an explicit comparison is the most helpful use of a marketing message, or if there are better alternatives.

To answer this question, let’s first look into the basic question of why consumers buy a certain product. Consumers buy a product because they have a need and they are searching for something that will fulfill that need. All things being equal (including price), they will choose the product that delivers the highest perceived value — thus, the greatest potential to fulfill their need. In other words, the product that best addresses the reason for making the purchase in the first place. Following this logic, it surely makes sense to use comparative claims to position yourself against the competition in such a way that demonstrates more value. But before we move further, let us evaluate the viability of such marketing claims.

Proceed with caution

Brand comparisons can successfully contribute towards reaching certain goals. By making a comparison, a ch


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