Look at any mature category — almost every competitor does all the same things. Every CRM, email marketing tool, or landing page builder has every feature.
If you compete in an existing, mature category (98% of us do) — you cannot win by being objectively better. Why is that? It's just too hard. Whatever stuff you build that buyers want, others can replicate it relatively fast.
Challenge: name a product that is objectively better than its competing products.
Google Search is one. Tesla might have a leg up on other electric cars (for now). Hard to name objectively better products that are not category-creating (e.g Gong) and/or not owned by multi-billion dollar corporations.
Feature-based differentiation is going away, and mostly already has. Winning on capabilities would mean you need to win on innovation, most can't do that.
But you can and should win on brand.
This means winning on a narrative (context for your capabilities), positioning (who's this for, for which use case), messaging (words you use to make your case).
There have never been as many brands as there are today. Most companies in any given category look the same and do pretty much the same things.
Sameness is pervasive. The majority don't have enough money (nor ideas) to win on innovation but play the X+1 feature game anyway.
Winners in this saturated world are taking a fundamentally differentiated position in the market.
Don’t compete on features. If your core concept isn’t working, rework the narrative and the description of the product rather than adding new stuff.
Make sure you’re creating a product that competes because it’s taking a fundamentally different position in the market.
If you know what your customers want and how they want it, you have a massive advantage. Companies that invest in learning what resonates with the people they're trying to influence come out ahead.
It’s very difficult to be objectively better while you also cannot be objectively worse. So you need to win by being more relevant, timely, and doing better marketing. This starts with really knowing what matters to them and what they don’t care about.
For each of your ICPs, you need to know:
If you know these things, you make your messaging on your website, emails, and ads more clear, relevant, aligned with customer actual priorities. In a nutshell: more compelling.
You can only improve what you can measure. If you don’t know how your positioning, messaging and marketing are landing on the intended customer, you’re blind when you don’t have to be.
You need to know what your target customer thinks and feels when they come across your messaging. Are the leaning in: "wow this is great"? Or are they rolling their eyes, quickly skimming over everything and moving on to other things?
Odds are, you have no clue. We can measure every click and scroll on the website, but before Wynter came to the scene, measuring how effective the words are was extremely difficult.
There are 3 major parts of your product and marketing messaging, and you need to evaluate each:
1. A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered. It’s the primary reason a prospect should buy from you.
You want to validate whether the TL;DR of your pitch is as compelling as it can be:
On your site, your value proposition is the main thing you need to test—if you get it right, it will be a huge boost. The less known your company is, the better your value proposition needs to be.
Your value proposition has these 3 components:
A value proposition should elicit a response like “Tell me more”, or “How do you do that?” or “I want it”.
2. Messaging is what you say
Messaging is the key message you want to communicate to your audience(s).
Copy is you elaborating on those messages, finding the best words to communicate it. Copy the manifestation of messaging, it's what the users actually come across. So when I say "messaging", I include copy under that umbrella term.
To compete and win, you need to know what in your messaging is hitting home, and what's missing the mark.
What is truly resonating with customers and capturing their attention? What do they care about? On the flip side, what are things they perceive as table stakes or what they don’t care about?
Understanding this will help you add more clarity, talk more about the things that work, and re-word or cut the parts they don’t care about (giving more attention to bits that matter). You will also learn about messaging hierarchy — what matters the most and the least (which should be reflected in the order of content blocks on your site).
Most messaging is a 'meh' — because companies don't know what's working or not.
Use these 5 heuristics to assess your messaging:
3. Differentiation or why buy from you?
Your value proposition and messaging might be spot on, but what if everyone else is saying the same thing? They probably are. After all, sameness is the default.
In fact, if you look at the top 20 sites from large categories, they all pretty much same the exact same things. The customer in that case will choose either the best known — the category leader — or the cheapest.
You need to be clearly different and/or better to win more customers.
When your ideal prospect is on your site, they should be able to figure out relatively easily how you're different and/or better. This again starts with choosing a differentiated position in the market and knowing more about the market and the customer than other players.
Won't others copy your differentiation messaging?
Differentiation is not a line of copy you write. It absolutely has to include your overall product and brand focus.
So you must be actually different (focused), and then communicate that. In the end, everyone wants to be different. A key part of your goal in strategy is to figure out how to focus on a space in a way that encourages others to play elsewhere and/or differently.
After going through your website, the customer should be clearly able to explain why choose you over others.