I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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Making a change can attract interest

On my way to Canberra yesterday, I listened to the flight attendant’s safety message.

Aviation fire truck

A fire truck is a not-so-boring safety precaution at airports

Obviously we are meant to do this every time we catch a plane but it isn’t the most interesting speech you’ll ever hear so it is, uh, challenging to stay focussed on it.

On Tuesday, the Qantas staff acknowledged one of the complaints about these safety messages by starting the presentation with

We know you can operate a seat belt, but we want to give you a few tips on using ours today.

A different message

It was a bit more human to acknowledge most people are smart enough to use a plane’s seat belt so it felt friendly and more interesting than ‘here’s how to do your seat belt up’.

However, just the fact that it was different to the usual safety blurb got my attention. And kept me listening to see what other changes they’d made to their message.

Unfortunately, that was the only deviation from the normal approach.

It certainly wasn’t like Air New Zealand’s safety video!

Nor is it now standard at Qantas. My return flight used a video to present the  safety message and it was routine. And I didn’t really pay any attention to it.

When’s the last time you listened to a flight safety message?

When’s the last time you consciously changed something in your business to keep it fresh and attracting attention?

Use real advantages…

When marketing, it is important to point out how your business (or product or service) is superior or different to others – in other words, why should people come to you?

This difference is often known as a unique selling point (USP) or a point of difference, and there are many ways to make use of it.

However, it is also important to show you are different by avoiding being the same. What do I mean by that? Well, if everyone in your industry talks about their compact products, don’t use the word compact – try space saving, small, minimalist or mini for instance.

Additionally, it’s not a good idea to use over-used words such as quality, value, fast and safe (see what Drew McLellan and others say on this in Drew’s recent blog post – he gives some good alternatives and the discussion is interesting.)

In writing as in business, being original and providing interesting content is likely to make more of an impact than being the same as everyone else. And making an impact may be just what you need to get customers to you rather than your competitors.

But when you are stating those great differences and reasons to use you, remember to be honest and only state real advantages rather than making up something your customers want to read.