What do you stand against?


It’s a slow mail day as you only see two postcards in your mailbox, naturally both are solicitations.

They are from competing television service providers who are trying to win you away from your current provider.

Here’s the first mailer from Company 123:


Blank envelopes.

Here’s the second mailer from Company XYZ:

Blank envelopes.


These offers are exactly the same. Just the message is altered, which changes the way we think about the offer.

History (and many experiments) tells us that Company XYZ’s message will be more effective.

That’s because humans are hard wired to avoid losses over potential gains. It’s a cognitive bias we’ve developed called “loss aversion.”

Studies show that losses are twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains.*

The idea of continuing to lose $10 every month is more powerful compared to the idea of saving $10 every month.

This concept brings us to the title of this post.

What do you stand against?

Many businesses will tell you things like…

  • We stand for quality.
  • We stand for integrity.
  • We stand for honesty.

Less businesses will tell you things like…

  • We stand against outsourcing to sweatshops.
  • We stand against people who can’t stand on their own word.
  • We stand against the liars of the world.

These messages are getting at the same points but just from a different angle.

Standing for honesty feels different than standing against liars.

Most brands will tell you what they stand for and avoid telling you what they stand against.

That’s a much safer message.

Safer messages blend in because everybody is saying it, because it’s safe.

Telling people what you stand against feels a little more confrontational and many businesses will lean away from this approach.

If you want people to notice you, draw a line in the sand and tell them what you stand against.

Just remember this simple equation:

Tension = Attention

Grab their attention and let them see your company values based on what you stand against.

Or you can go the safe route… it’s your call.

*Source : Wiki