What is Your Downside?

What is Your Downside?


Just Admit It

We all have one, or maybe more than one. Certainly they exist on a personal level and most likely in your business. Downsides can exist in the form of fewer features, smaller size, slower speed or anything that the competition does better. I think hiding this downside from your customers is a bad idea because they are probably aware of it already. You should get out ahead of any bad surprises and let them know of your downside.

That may seem crazy, but it beats waiting for customers to discover it on their own. That will breed distrust. Broadcasting your downside without a plan isn’t exactly the best way to go about it though. There are more subtle ways of letting people know about your downside. Stella Artois had a famous advertising campaign that simply stated “Reassuringly Expensive.” The downside is clearly the price of this product, but it was also made into a positive. If this beer is higher priced, that must mean more care goes into the craft and hence the taste will be better. This kind of trickery can be instilled in any business.


A minimum coverage insurance company can let its customers know they won’t be getting extra protection by saying something like “meeting you where you are in life” or “minimum coverage for minimum price.”


A manufacturer that creates specific use paint brushes could say “designed for a single use with perfection in mind” or “when an average brush just won’t do.”


A jeweler that takes a longer than average time to size rings might want to put customers at ease with a saying like “the proper time for the proper fit” or “a few extra weeks for a lifetime of comfort.”


Benefits to Downsides

When customers know what they are getting and why, they will be much happier. The reason they will be happy is there won’t be surprises. They know they won’t be buying a perfect product, but they will know the very thing that makes it imperfect provides a benefit. A benefit of price, speed, quality or quantity.

Advertising a downside may be uncomfortable, but it does two things. It prevents disappointing customers and differentiates you from the competition. Both of those have the potential to make your business grow. Growth is possible because you’re being honest and up front. Your customers deserve that honesty and you deserve the growth.