Your product is replacing something…what is it?

Cindy Alvarez makes a great point about how people talk about products…when talking about using something new we usually talk about what we’re replacing. She suggests these comments take one of several forms:

  • Now that I use X, I’ve stopped using Y
  • Using X means I no longer need to do Y
  • X is much easier than Y
  • I used to do Y, but I haven’t since I discovered X

This echoes my experience as well. People talk about competitors and replacements constantly, but companies selling products don’t very much. This makes sense in some cases, depending on your product positioning, as you don’t always want to take competitors head-on. (and in some cases the product your replacing isn’t in the same category as you) In other cases, however, I think replacement talk is under-utilized. Customer testimonials, for example, are a great place to talk about replacements, as it mirrors the talk of your customers anyway. When your customers talk about replacing your competitor with you, its a lot more powerful than you talk about that replacement, and its also answering a question that your customers already have.

In general, if you’re solving a real problem, then you are almost always going to be replacing whatever solution your customer already has.

Published: April 14th, 2013

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