One of the most important principles in marketing is the “Unique Mechanism”.
The idea is that sometimes you’re operating in a crowded market…
And the product you’re selling seems pretty similar to your competitors’.
It’s not a new category. And you can’t promise people a different outcome.
So how do you make it stand out?
You find something different about the way your product works – a “unique mechanism”.
It can be as simple as an unusual ingredient or component…
…Any little factor which gives people a reason why your product works, when other solutions have failed.
Think about the weight loss market…
Everyone is promising the same outcome (“you’ll look slimmer”).
So to stand out, companies have to convince people there’s something different about the way they achieve that result – “You’ll only eat 8 hours a day”, “you’ll only eat grapefruit”, “we’ll induce a state of ketosis”…
These are all examples of unique mechanisms.
So how about aesthetics?
It’s really rare that clinics have something genuinely unique to sell. Almost all your treatments are – by definition – going to be commodities.
There is absolutely nothing unique about your CoolSculpting machine… there are 5 places to get filler on every street corner… everyone’s doing non-surgical facelifts.
The best practitioners will develop their own techniques for some treatments, so they can truthfully claim they have a “secret sauce”.
But if you can’t do that, there are still a few ways you can make bog-standard treatments sound different and exciting…
One of my favorites is simply to ask: “What is the story about this treatment that no one else is telling?”
You see, your treatment doesn’t genuinely need to be different (although obviously that’s better!). You just need to make it sound different.
So if you can find something unusual about the way it works which your competitors aren’t talking about, it can become a real differentiator.
The classic example comes from 100 years ago…
Legendary adman Claude Hopkins was hired to promote Schlitz beer.
On a tour of their brewing facility, he was shown the process they use to purify their water.
He immediately identified that this could be the basis of a marketing campaign…
…But the manufacturers explained that there was nothing different about their water purification techniques. Every beer company does the same thing!
Your treatment doesn’t genuinely need to be different.
You just need to make it sound different.
Hopkins countered that it didn’t matter. No one else was talking about it.
So he positioned Schlitz Beer as “pure” – and their sales skyrocketed.
You can do this for many aesthetic treatments.
Almost all your competitors are promoting their treatments in the exact same way. Sometimes they’re even regurgitating the exact same text provided by the medical device companies.
Very often, the unique mechanisms are hiding in plain sight…
Your competitors mention the special ingredients in a serum… or the speed of the laser pulse… as an afterthought – or not at all.
When you zero in on these little nuggets in your promotions, you’ll get a lot more attention.
So what are the stories no one is telling about the treatments you offer?
Miriam Shaviv is creator of Inbox Express, the library of marketing emails for aesthetic clinics and med spas, designed to make your marketing effective and easy – and send the right messages to your patients as you re-open after Coronavirus! Find out more here.
She is Director of Content at Brainstorm Digital, which helps aesthetic clinics and med spas get patients through their doors again and again – without the headache of costly online advertising.