Quality, service and price are claims that advertisers have used for years. Unfortunately, they don't work anymore because consumers have become numb to such common and empty rhetoric.

Don't customers already assume that businesses offer quality products and good service? What company wouldn't claim that?

These expectations aren't customer benefits. Claims such as quality and service can be unique only if you are able to show why yours are outstanding compared with those of the competition.

The same holds true for price. Unless you're selling a commodity item, people generally make purchase decisions based on the value of goods or service versus cost alone.

People are exposed to as many as 5,000 advertising impressions each day. So most of us have become good at filtering through the nonsense and focusing on only what interests us.

When you read a magazine or newspaper, don't you scan each page for topics of interest? Isn't your ultimate screening mechanism a tiny voice inside saying, "What's in this for me?"

You're not unique. Most of us have fine-tuned our scanning abilities to instantly decipher relevant material. And then, most advertisements that get any attention at all receive only 2-3 seconds of it.

So, why do so many companies waste these precious 2-3 seconds with messages that are so unappealing?

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Christine L. Pilch is a principal with Your Brand Partnership (yourbrandpartnership.com), which helps businesses position and brand themselves for accelerated growth.