How to differentiate your product (when it’s far from unique). Lessons from Pine O Cleen.

A big part of copywriting is finding the features and benefits that will resonate with your target audience.

What do they really care about? Actually, it’s more than that. What do they care about so much that worrying about it keeps them awake at night?

When your product or service isn’t unique, it can be tough to stand out.

Put time back in your day

I saw this TV advert for Pine O Cleen wipes many years ago (2012 in fact).

It’s a classic example of creating a point of difference out of some rather common features.

The wipes disinfect the surfaces killing most of the ‘germs’ – just like the competitor products do. They wipe away dirt and grease – just like the competitor products do – and they won’t disintegrate in your hands – just like the competitor wipes.

The beauty of this campaign is that they don’t specifically mention these features. They simply show them in action.

What they do is focus on the main benefit – saving time – and they back this up with imagery of a family having lots of fun and being extremely happy together. TV ad happy, obviously. No parents smile that much while kids chase bubbles inside the damned house! 

But the message here is clear: this product gives you quality time with your family with the peace of mind that you’re looking after them.

The lesson?

If you’re writing about a product or service isn’t all that unique in the market (and let’s face it, most of us are in that category) look for ways to differentiate your marketing.

Like, focusing on a feature that everyone has but no one talks about. Sometimes “they’re only mundane because of a lack of explanation” (Sean D’Souza).

Or you can rise above it all and aim your marketing at one big worry your target market has, like Pine O Cleen did. The angle might not be massively original but it might be enough to stand apart from competitors.


12 Responses

    1. Thanks Bridie. Most of these kind of products start to blend into each other so it was refreshing to see a new angle. 

      It’s also a good reminder that your angle doesn’t have to clever – it does have to be relevant.

  1. I agree, very interesting article!

    I find it even more difficult to find something unique for B2B companies’ marketing. When you have a business audience and you try to sell to these big organisations that will then sell your products to their end customers.

    1. It is usually a lot tougher as it can feel like there are only a few angles to take. But you might also find that for any other product. It’s all been done before. There is nothing new to say. I would then look to focus on making sure the BIG BENEFIT is meaningful and using techniques (like these) to give the copy credibility.

      So, even if a business isn’t unique it understands it’s audience and is trustworthy. Which is better!

  2. Ohhhh, Belinda ….

    EXACTLY my thought about the kids and the bubbles in the house!

    You had me LOL with your comment.

    Great article, as usual. Thanks!

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