It’s easy to only focus on your business’ positives in your marketing. But if your so-called negatives are obvious, it’s smart to bring them to the forefront of the discussion, turn them into positives and defuse bad initial impressions.

For example, a chimney sweep company had an all-too-catchy jingle that everyone complained about. Did they change it? No way! They used the negativity to create hilarious radio commercials that recognized how annoying their jingle was. It got attention, made listeners laugh, and engrained the jingle’s message (and the company brand) in their memories even more.

Good marketers don’t follow the crowd. If your competition has an advantage, turn it around. Perhaps their prices are lower. Don’t compete on price… let them have that. Instead, point out that your company is focused on quality work and “lifetime value.”

Maybe your company has old, ugly trucks. In that case, you can say, “We know our trucks are ugly! It’s how we keep our prices low.”

Perhaps your business is just starting out and you haven’t had much experience yet. You might turn that negative into a positive by saying, “I recently completed in-depth training, so I’m equipped with fresh perspectives, the latest technology and the best industry practices.” Or, “We’re newer to the market, so every customer is a VIP to us. Get the VIP treatment.”

The lesson here: Bullies don’t like it when you’re in on the joke. Acknowledge the negatives and make them your own.