The Pepsi Challenge and MLM

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The Pepsi Challenge and MLM

pepsichallengeNot sure if you're old enough to remember “The Pepsi Challenge” or not.  The first one took place in 1975.  If you don't remember or aren't old enough to have witnessed it on TV, I'll fill you in, and also talk about the Pepsi Challenge and MLM…what they have to do with one another.

An ad campaign initiated by Pepsi in the 1970's focused on pouring cola into two white cups, one contained Pepsi, and the other contained their big competitor, Coca-Cola.  People were invited to “Take the Pepsi Challenge” to find out which of the two sodas someone preferred based on this side by side taste test.

Here we are…stacking products up against one another, to see which one wins.  I'm pretty sure there was no clear “winner” in the Pepsi Challenge, although I'm sure they sold a bunch during their ad campaigns of that era.

What's The Pepsi Challenge and MLM Connection?

Here's the connection.  People everywhere to comparison charts, or attempt to stack themselves up agains the competition.  It's commonplace in marketing.  Charts are everywhere.  This post was spurred by a network marketer I talked to in a skin care company who was putting down his competition in another skin care company.

I'm not sure that “putting down” anyone or anything is ever a really GOOD thing in marketing.  I get the point.  I mean…in marketing, the objection is to make your product/service/company look as good as possible, as appealing and desirable as you can make it look.  That's marketing…and probably also why Seth Godin wrote a book called “All Marketers are Liars.”

I'm not suggesting that you can't run comparisons against your competition, show how you “stack up” against them, or ignore your biggest foe in the marketplace.  Not at all.

What I do believe is true is this.  Lots of marketers fall back on the weakness of comparing themselves.  Meaning this, your product has features and it has benefits.  The features your product has and the benefits it provides then end user should be enough to get them to choose you, regardless of what competition you might face.

Putting down others, throwing up comparison charts, always mentioning the competition is the weaker strategy.  The stronger strategy is standing on your own two feet.  Being so good that your competition really doesn't even matter is your better play.

Something to think about.  Build on your strengths and only when absolutely necessary, bring the competition into the picture.

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