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Work | Deciphering 'Reason To Believe' (RTB)

by Jacke Tan

The term ‘Reason to Believe’ (RTB) has been used extensively in almost all the creative advertising briefs we receive through the years. Brands have been trying to home in onto this piece of the brand plan puzzle. Every brand is trying to connect with its target audience, decode that ‘common ground’ and establish the relevance of their brand benefits to their target audience.

In the case of Whitewords, deriving a brand's RTB becomes more complicated since most of the work we do is focused on the medical and pharmaceutical space. Many times, the RTB becomes too technical and complicated for the target audience to grasp with clarity and the opportunity to connect is lost. Fancy designs and descriptions will only get you so far. Consumers need airtight benefits and a clear reason to believe. At a simplistic level, your target audiences have pains and they’re looking for massive gains.

To this end, we believe that a concise and well-developed positioning statement really helps. A tip when crafting positioning statements would be to focus on the principal consumer benefit and why your brand should be the only option in the market. Do remember that positioning statements are meant to be brief, believable and brilliant – highlighting the essentials to capture your target audiences' attention. Once their interest is piqued, you will then have the time and space in your next step messaging and marketing plans to further elaborate on your brand benefits and RTB.

Reason to Believe

The reason to believe (RTB) is why your customer should believe you. What makes your claims and promises credible and trustworthy? Your RTB could be anything from your experience in the field, to proven results and testimonials, to having products backed by extensive research or science. Your customer is skeptical because they’ve heard the promises before.

A few examples of potent proof points:

  • Backed by science: You have trials and studies that support your claims. It goes without saying that the more unbiased and independent the research is, the better.

  • Reviews and testimonials: Nothing is more powerful than word of mouth from existing consumers, who laid down their hard-earned cash for your product, validating the efficacy of your brand. Reviews from people who don’t have a vested stake in a company have more credence than the brand touting its own awesomeness.

  • Category longevity or expertise: Whether you’re the market leader or you’ve been in the business for 100 years, sustainability, viability, and expertise can be proof in and of themselves.

  • Awards, accreditations, seals of trust/excellence: People love awards and seals, and if you’ve been recognised by peers and trusted companies, it just further substantiates your story.

While compiling your benefits and deriving your RTB might seem like the simplest of all the exercises in the brand development process, they’re also the most critical. You’re answering two vital questions posed by your customer: What’s in it for me? And why you? Your positioning statement whets their proverbial appetite, but your benefits and RTB give them the nourishment they need and crave.

Jacke Tan, Chief Creative Head


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