Discard them and their value will never be known.
Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.
As a person with a passion for marketing and promotion, I constantly analyze all forms of advertising broadcast commercials, billboards, magazines and even direct mail pieces — to see what I can apply to my voice-over business. It’s especially beneficial to examine how competitors choose to hawk similar commodities in a full marketplace.
In this case, both jewelers both specialize in diamond wedding sets and are continuous radio advertisers. Both enterprises utilize the company owners as the voice talent in their ads. Both establishments sell upscale jewelry, and Jeweler B also sells Swiss watches. They are true to their brand in their advertising.
Beyond these similarities, though, they run very different types of ads. First, they appear to be targeting different market segments. Jeweler A seems intended for those who appreciate and are willing to pay for elegance, while Jeweler B seems to be directed at the price-conscious crowd.
Jeweler A has a distinctive nasal voice. He always talks about new or featured product lines, gift ideas, his money-back guarantee, etc. Sometimes he relates a story based in a testimonial. He quietly talks about the benefits and pleasures of shopping with him and consistently gives you reasons why you may want to do so.
The ads for Jeweler B often feature the 2 men who own and run the business. Sometimes they mention advantages of shopping with them, like the number of graduate gemologists on staff and their longevity in the market. They make jokes like they want to appear that they didn’t think about the spot in advance. I suppose they want to convey the ultra-casual atmosphere of their stores where the sales people wear jeans and t-shirts.
In other ads, Jeweler B airs fake game shows where one of the contestants is someone poorly imitating Jeweler A. The nasal voice is always accentuated, and the imitator is always made to sound stupid and bumbling.
When listening to the ads from Jeweler A, you would never think that another jewelry store even exists. You certainly wouldn’t think that the owner is worried about competition in a saturated market.
Since Jeweler B often mocks Jeweler A in their ads, it’s obvious that they are keenly aware and perhaps even afraid of their competition. In fact, many of their ads border on personal attacks although they are presumably meant to be humorous. On a personal level, I do not want to deal with anyone who makes themselves sound or feel better at the expense of other people.
Every marketing book will tell you to focus on the benefits for the target market in your communications with them. Jeweler A consistently highlights in his ads those things important to his target market, where Jeweler B concentrates on them only half of the time.
The lesson for voice-over artists is that we also need to continuously highlight the benefits of working with us.
If you can’t articulate attributes of value and service that your target market considers important, how would your prospective clients ever be able to discern that you are the best fit for their needs?
These benefits are also known as your competitive advantages. I have a few thoughts on that topic as well, but that sounds like another article for another day. 🙂
In the meantime, spend your spare moments improving your own skills rather than worrying about, or worse, maligning those of your competitors. Polishing your skills will enable you to sparkle like a brilliant diamond in your marketing efforts and will make your life as a voice talent all the more useful.