When In Doubt, Invert

How do you solve this fundamental problem: it’s hard to stand out from the group.

People don’t know or understand what we do or why we’re different. Maybe they do after we explain it, but even then – we know they walk away using self-talk to convince themselves why we and/or our products are or are not “worth it.”

When we don’t frame the “why” correctly, they make assumptions. When they don’t understand our assumptions, attribute substitution kicks in – and they start to find their own adjectives.

If we think just in terms of how high / low priced or scarce / abundant our product or service is, we can start by defining it by what it is not.

Jacobi, the famous mathematician, via Charlie Munger, the famous investor, reminds us to “invert, always invert.” They’re onto something.

When you want to sell your steak dinner – try appealing to the negative emotions associated with eating at a fast food restaurant. “Picture the crying kids, the stress, the teenager prepared garbage food – we are the opposite. A quiet room, lush upholstered seating, we’ll pour your wine, and oh, our tender steaks…”

When you want to sell your drive through hamburger – try appealing to the negative emotions associated with eating at a fancy restaurant. “Picture your kids destroying the table, agitating the so-called sophisticated guests, waiting forever for your food when all you want us just to get the meal and go…”

Fundamental truth: if you can pick the framing and suggest the attributes, you can always stand out from the pack. When in doubt, just invert.

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