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Blogosphere on Positioning: Robert Bly

Posted on Monday, Feb 8th 2010

Robert Bly sent me an interesting post from a copywriter’s perspective: Reality in Advertising:

For example, in the pump industry, it is common for pump manufacturers to attempt to win customers by advertising a unique design feature.

Unfortunately, these design twists often result in no real performance improvement, no real advantage that the customer cares about.

Realizing that they could not differentiate based on a concrete design principle, Blackmer pump took a different tact: to create a USP based upon application of the product.

Their trade ads showed a Yellow Pages ripped out of an industrial buying guide, full of listings for pump manufacturers, including Blackmer. Their company name was circled in pen.

The headline of the ad read, “There are only certain times you should call Blackmer for a pump. Know when?”

Body copy explained (and I am paraphrasing here), “In many applications, Blackmer performs no better or worse than any pumps, and so we are not a particularly advantageous choice.”

But, the ad went on, for certain applications (viscous fluids, fluids containing abrasives, slurries, and a few other situations) Blackmer was proven to outperform all other pumps, and were the logical brand of choice. Blackmer closed the ad by offering a free technical manual proving the claim.

This segment is a part in the series : Blogosphere on Positioning

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