Is New+Improved Better?

You’ve probably been taught that the phrase “new and improved” are strong words to place in your marketing copy. People are supposedly always looking for an edge, so getting the newest thing will help them better. From the customer’s perspective however, does newer = better? Newer might be a restyled product, additional features, fixed bugs, or brand new technology. But what are your customers looking for? Your past clients are looking for a reason to upgrade: what did they purchase from you in the past that’s now obsolete and would necessitate them to buy from you TODAY? (Aside: the goal is to convince someone that the new widget that they recently purchased is now old, and they need to toss it and get the newest best thing is well described in the new documentary film Objectified). Your prospects appreciated that you’re evolving your offering to make it cutting edge.

But is newer better? Only your customers can judge better. From your perspective, it might be cheaper to produce your new offering or newer makes you more competitive with your competition. From your customers’ perspective, does the new offering save them money? Does it really improve their quality of life? Does it remove pain from their body or psyche?

Most marketing focused on “new and improved” tries to keep the customers on the endless treadmill of buy new, discard old, and give them a psychological boost with something “new and shiny”. But to be a truly world-class marketer, your “new and improved” should sell itself with concrete reasons to own it. Do your business (and customers a favor): truly understand what they need, why they need it, how they use your offering, and how you can help make their lives better (even if they don’t know it yet).


Jay Hamilton-Roth founded Many Good Ideas ( to help small businesses brainstorm, design, and implement effective marketing strategies. He combines creativity with common sense to demystify the process of getting great results. He has used his high-tech background from MIT to help him launch five businesses. He consults with companies in a wide range of industries and publishes a monthly marketing newsletter and daily marketing blog ( He ...

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