Want to know the secret to creating perceived superiority? Don’t tell anyone your brand is superior.
Brands have spent years trying to obtain superiority claims. In fact brand leaders spend millions of dollars in R&D improving their products, conducting competitive testing and massaging their claims in order to claim their product is better than that of the competition. Consumers prefer this coffee brand over that 2 to 1; 80% of people agree that super cleanser Brand X kills germs better than Brand Y. There are a lot of overstatements but those superlatives are not matched by superior results.
In a meta-analysis of 40 new product and existing brand concepts, Triggers demonstrated that overt claims of superiority don’t drive purchase interest nearly as effectively as the right message and cues do. In fact, a parity product with the right brand and category cues outperforms concepts with overt superiority claims by an average of 10 points of purchase interest.
Consumers are skeptical creatures and when you tell them a product is superior their antennae go up as well as their barriers. The key is to build positive associations in the subconscious, and create perceived superiority — that pulls customers to you versus pushing you away.