In Los Angeles, I was walking around a market and I came across a burger joint with a sign out the front that said, “Bill’s Burgers. BEST burgers in the world!”

I walked straight past the sign, across the road, and dined at another burger place instead, which also had a sign out the front. Though this one said, “Paddock to plate burgers”.

We are all in a commodity market and we are all sceptical. Telling people we are the best doesn’t work. Well, telling sophisticated people, anyway.

When I stumbled across Bill’s, my first thought was, if you had the best burgers in the world, I would have heard about you. And you’d probably have more than three people in your restaurant.

A better technique is to show people why you’re the best option—for them. This is about understanding what makes you you, as well as what your audience values.

To me, paddock to plate means local, ethical, premium, and delicious produce. In one statement, I know the restaurant’s values, philosophy and I feel way more confident about getting a burger I’ll be satisfied with.

In turn, the burger place didn’t have to tell me they were the BEST. They merely had to champion underlying messaging and leave me to draw the dots.

The marketing posture is one of alignment, not the hard sell. We align ourselves to those we aim to serve, instead of telling our audience we’re the best.

Hi. I’m a copywriter and brand message strategist for hospitality, farm, food, and drink businesses who want to tell a better brand story.

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