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Why You Might Want to Be More Negative in Your Marketing

Ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

Of course you have. We all have.

Ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and then have to be cheery? Like, interact in social media? Write an engaging blog post? Put together a lovable email marketing campaign?

Ugh. Those are the times you wish you could shut out the world, or at least channel a little of your inner snark. Well, the good news is you can do that once in a while, and your marketing results may even thank you for it! Sometimes, it’s good to embrace a little bit of the negative. (Trust me — this will all make sense in a second.)

So, here we go … if you ever wake up wanting to shut out the world, here’s how you can take it out (positively!) in your marketing.

What is negative marketing?

Negative marketing is a tactic that traditionally taps into negative emotions — such as fear, irritation, anger, or sadness — in order to elicit a response from the consumer, often in favor of what a brand offers or against what a brand opposes or competes with.

Keep in mind, however, that negative marketing shouldn’t be deployed simply because you want to be cranky. Instead, it should be implemented strategically with one (or more) of these goals in mind: 

  • Empathizing with customer struggles 
  • Differentiating your brand with that of competitors, especially those who may not be willing to take a stand or acknowledge certain truths in the industry
  • Cutting through the noise of “neutral” messaging that might not be resonating

If you’re successful, the end result causes you to stick in your audience’s mind, which gives you the bandwidth to prove your brand as a superior alternative.

How to Be Negative in Your Marketing

So how do you implement this tactic successfully? Here are some opportunities to be “more negative” in your marketing.

1. Create negative, or exclusionary, personas.

Let’s start with something a little bit easier to swallow than just being a total grumpy pants: exclusionary personas. Exclusionary personas, sometimes also referred to as negative personas, are kind of like the opposite of buyer personas — they’re the personas of the people you do not want to target in your marketing. – Read more

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