Pepsi forced Coke into the greatest marketing blunder of the 20th century. Coke couldn’t stand coming in second in the infamous Pepsi Challenge so they decided to change their classic winning formula. The results were nearly the death of a legend.

This list of comparative claim ads could go on and on: Miller Lite verses Bud Light, Huggies verses Pampers, or Dyson verses Hoover.

The battle of Apple and Microsoft is beginning to heat up. Until now, Microsoft has smartly stayed quiet on the sidelines while Mac hammered away at the differences between the two software giants. Microsoft recently invested $10,000,000 in Jerry Seinfeld as part of a staggering $30,000,000 campaign to fight back. Apple responded with the next in this series of ads wondering why Microsoft is promoting rather than correcting the (PE) personal experience problems with the Vista software.

Dunkin Donuts recently decided it was time to take a shot at Starbuck’s supremacy as America’s coffee house. The spots are based on the results of a double-blind survey the company commissioned this summer in 10 major cities, including Starbucks’ hometown, Seattle. Of the 476 adults surveyed, 54% preferred Dunkin while 39% preferred Starbucks. Dunkin Donut’s work builds on earlier spots poking fun at Starbucks’ snob factor, such as Italian names for beverages and drink sizes.

The point to all of this is simple.

Whether you decide to use relational or transactional marketing to attract customers to your business, intellectual “proof claims” hold more meaning than ever with today’s strapped consumer. Intellectual marketing using a strategy wedge to explain why your products and services are better than your competition can compellingly persuade Ms. Jones to move her limited money from them to you.

Retailers MUST discover their untold story. The truth well told should be aimed with laser precision directly at the yada, yada, yada claims of the competition.

In the movie The Matrix, Cypher says, “I’ll go back to sleep and when I wake up, I’ll be fat and rich and I won’t remember a thing. It’s the American dream.” This is surely just for the movies.

Trying this tactic in furniture retail will be hazardous to your wealth.