The One Thing You Need to Stand Out and Sell More

get results: stand out
get results: stand out

Using Contrast to Stand Out

When you stand side by side with your competitors in a publication, a directory or in a pay per click (PPC) advert, you have to have something that makes you stand out, to get noticed. There needs to be something that jumps off the page and smacks your prospective customers right between the eyes. One of the best ways to do this is to use “contrast“.

If you have the luxury of being able to use images in your advert you can make use of contrast in a number of ways using size, tone, colour, value, direction, shape, type, position and texture within your advert. The key to making an impact is being as different visually, to your competitors as you can be. If they are using bright colours, use black and white, if they are displaying a particular style do something that looks very different.

If, as in the case of PPC ads, you don’t currently have the benefit of using images to stand out, you have to make sure your wording provides the contrast. If your competitors are offering discounts, then you should reframe from doing so and approach it from a different angle say something like:

“No Sale Here, just great prices all year round.”

“We Don’t Need a Sale to…”

“Giving You the Best Prices – Order Now.”

If they’re not displaying prices, then you show prices, if they are showing prices then you reframe from doing so. If they are using lots of words, then you use less and make use of white space to stand out, and so on.

Using Contrast to sell

You can make use of CONTRAST on your landing pages or in your sales copy by using the rule of contrast – this is based on perceptual contrast and happens when you introduce 2 vastly different alternatives in succession. It distorts and amplifies the perception, making them seem to be more different from one another than they actually are. It works due to the fact that people need to establish a benchmark for comparison to make judgements especially in unfamiliar situations.

The passage of time reduces the effect of contrast. So timing is critical when using this method. The second offer should be presented immediately after the first to get the full effect.

The Door in the face close is a great example of the rule of contrast where a larger initial request is followed by a smaller request – the prospect feels they are getting a better deal than they were originally and are more likely to make the purchase.

A slight variation of this rule is the Comparison effect which presents an undesirable version first and follows it up with the sellers “intended offer” at the same price. This is often used by realtor’s when selling houses, they present a run down property first followed by the one they really want to sell, and at the same price. The prospect feels the second property is vastly superior in comparison to the first, and so is a bargain.


Using CONTRAST helps you stand out from the crowd and allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors. It also allows you to anchor your prospects perception of value, helping them feel they are making a more informed decision.

Hope you found this article useful. For more marketing information, check out our marketing guide.