Fighting an enemy

Bring the beef

Growth Roadmaps-banner

Let’s play a game.

I got on the London Underground this week and saw this ad - it resonated with me.

I’ve included it below but I’ve blurred out the product.

Now guess:

  1. What company are they referring to?

  2. What product are they selling?

Answers at the bottom of the email…

This newsletter is kindly sponsored by - PLGTM is hosting PLGTM, a 2-day conference celebrating the GTM side of product-led growth. 

Covering all aspects of growth from adding PLG motions, PLG attribution, warm outbound, product-led sales, and more, the event is a must to check out. It's happening this coming April 16 & 17 in San Francisco. 

Growth Roadmaps readers can use coupon code Theo to get 25% off their pass.

Check out PLGTM.

This ad resonated because:

They found a common enemy and aimed at it.

Specifically: a large multi-national that has influenced the way we shop for certain items and the behaviours around it.

These are things that are synonymous with pain for anyone who has shopped there before.

Even though they mischaracterise their Swedish meatballs (which are sensational), the point hits home.

So if you’ve felt this pain before, you really felt it.

When you market like this, you don’t need exotic product descriptions or the most beautiful language.

You just need to be the opposite of the problem.

When you fight an enemy, your message connects harder.

Loom made their enemy meetings and long-written emails.

DuckDuckGo picked a fight with Google and their endless tracking.

Wise wanted a scrap with banks over hidden fees and started running around London naked to prove they were serious.

Creating an enemy can be hard.

Especially if you’re a nice person who enjoys good vibes and avoids confrontation.

Generally, I don’t like to pick fights with people either. (Unless we’re playing sports or any type of game. Then I’ll argue until I win)

So there are a couple of frameworks I use to make sure my product/marketing has an enemy.

One is strategic.

One is tactical.

1. Start with Unlike

For core strategic elements of your business, pit yourself against your enemy or enemies.

It’s simple, open a document and for different areas of your business, start each sentence with unlike.

Target audience

Unlike X, we serve…


Unlike X, we focus on…


Unlike X, we have… 

And so on. You can do this with values, pricing, team and more.

After you do that exercise, you can put the result straight onto your website.

I usually put it into the FAQs. I did it last week when I soft-launched a new website for a service around customer acquisition I’ve been working on for a while.

Otherwise, use it as a living document that outlines how you’re different.

2. Leverage the PAS Copywriting Framework

This is one of my favourite ways to structure copy:

  • Problem/Pain (P)- Outline the main issue your audience is having

  • Agitate (A) - Help the reader understand the realities of not fixing this problem/pain.

  • Solution (S)- Position your product as the relief to their problem/pain.

In a clever way, like the ad above did.

So folks, be brave - pick your enemy and be prepared to fight it.

And for those looking for answers:

The answer was:

  1. IKEA (of course)

  2. Furniture / Homeware

Full Ad:

Bravo to Vinterior.

At Christmas, I offered a free 30-minute strategy call to you all. 7 of you took up the offer.

Here’s what, Jacob, one of the 7 and co-founder of a fitness app, said about our call:

What an incredibly valuable 30 minutes!!!

As a small bootstrapped start-up, sometimes you just need a new set of eyes to get you moving forwards again.

Our small app was stagnating for downloads and our conversion rates were low - but thanks to just a quick (free) 30-minute call from Theo he was able to give us feedback and real actionable ideas to improve the app experience. He also shared 4+ different (free) resources for us that I had not heard of before!

Two weeks after we rolled out the changes - an all time record week for iOS downloads, thank you!

I genuinely love taking calls with founders like these:

They ask good questions. They listen. They action. They update on progress.

I’ll happily give up time in my day to speak to people like this.

So if you’re a founder like this, I’ve left some time in my calendar over the next two weeks.

What did you think of this post?

Your feedback helps me create better posts for you

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.