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Stuck Writing Copy For An Average Company Or Service? How Parity Saves The Day

Kristen Michaelis
 


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"We're the same as everybody else" hardly sells. But if your client's product or service isn't anything special or unique, what kind of a claim can you possibly make about them to outstrip the competition? Using the Rule of Parity is a godsend for copywriters left scratching their heads over an otherwise average, run of the mill product or service.

What is the Rule of Parity? Nothing more than making an honest claim at equality, but spinning it in such a way that it leaves a positive, superior impression in your reader's mind. Most parity claims begin with the word “no. "

  • No other bank offers faster credit approval.
  • No other car battery is guaranteed to last longer.
  • No other drink satisfies thirst more quickly.

Get the idea yet? Translated into ho-hum language, the three claims above read:

  • Other banks offer credit approvals as quickly as we do.
  • Other car batteries are guaranteed to last as long as ours.
  • Other drinks satisfy your thirst as quickly as ours.

A parity claim doesn't claim to be the best, or even better. It simply claims to be on par with the competition (hence: “parity"). It claims equivalence, not superiority.

Your job, though, is to create a realistic image of superiority. So, why use just one parity claim? String many of them together, and a more substantive image of supremacy starts forming.

No other bank offers faster credit approval. No other bank pays higher interest rates. No other bank gives you more free services like free checks and free ATMs. No bank has more neighborhood branches for your banking convenience. So, why don't you bank at First American?

Add in even one legitimate claim of superiority, however minor, and you've created an unassailable mountain.

No other bank offers faster credit approval. No other bank pays higher interest rates. No other bank gives you more free services like free checks and free ATMs. No bank has more neighborhood branches for your banking convenience. To top it all off, no other bank gives you a free $50 gas card for opening an account with them. So, why don't you bank at First American?

So, if you're stuck cursing the cruel fate that brought you an assignment writing copy for a product or service without a single unique feature, thank God for parity. It'll bail you out of tight copywriting corners time and again.

A freelance copywriter and editor, Kristen Michaelis publishes the popular monthly e-zine The Wonderworking Minute . Each edition of The Wonderworking Minute contains valuable hints and tips for helping you become a better marketer, communicator, and person. Sign up today for your free subscription to the e-zine and receive a FREE copy of her report “How To Gain And Keep Clients Through Strategic Partnering. ” She and her husband Steve have partnered to create Wonderworking Words , a freelance copywriting services company. For more articles and tips like this one, check out The Wonderworking Words Blog .

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