If your customers feel someone or something is superior to them, they will envy it. And if you are that “superior” thing, envy is not good. When customers envy something, they will try to pull it down. For example, if you envy Donald Trump (you shouldn’t) you may try to pull him down by saying he was given his business by his father and couldn’t have done it on his own, or that he doesn’t deserve it and is just lucky, or that he is likely doing shady deals. The words don’t matter so much, envy makes us pull others done. So, if you are the one that is envied, you are being pulled down by others.
But on the flip side there is the Phoenix Effect. If your audience sees that you have fallen below them, they will actually try to pull you up (in their mind). Don’t confuse this with pity. Pity is where your audience feels you have always been below them and are not capable of anything better.
In the Phoenix Effect, customers know you have the ability to rise, but are currently below them, so they root for you and support you. If you are touting your business is #1 in your industry, you are not using the Phoenix Effect. Instead show customers your flaws and faults. Show them that you are striving for number one. Show them you are a Phoenix, and they will support you.