What do customers buy?

by Tony Fannin, president, BE Branded

I just recently came from a corporate networking meeting. I had the opportunity to listen to about 30 “elevator” speeches. A few were good, some interesting, but most were very forgettable. The ones that were dull solely concentrated on what they did or the literal description of their product. We all have had the experience of when someone tells you the specifics of their product or service, our eyes glaze over and the information goes in one ear and out the other. There’s nothing that captivates our imagination or compels us to be a part of something great. Unfortunately, many company’s advertising does the same thing. The spout off the latest and greatest details of what their product does or the kind of service they provide without capturing our imaginations or touching on our desires. Customers glance at it and blow by. It doesn’t matter if it’s online, offline, social media, or any other channel you can think of.

In reality, customers don’t buy products and services. They buy benefits and dreams. Your advertising and marketing should captivate your customers imagination. It should help them see how wonderful their life COULD be with your product or service. Marketing isn’t a spec sheet. It’s not a rundown of EVERYTHING your product does. Nor is it a laundry list of every service your provide. And it’s definitely not how wonderful your company is. Your advertising should be about how you can benefit your customer’s life. How your service can help them achieve their dreams. It doesn’t matter if it’s B2B or B2C, the same principles apply:

1. Tell me what benefits I will get – Don’t tell me everything your product/service does. It not about how great you are, it’s how much can you benefit my life or business. Save the details. That will come after I decided that you may have what I need. Then, I will want every piece of information you can give me. Not so much because I want to be able to do it myself, but to reinforce that my faith and trust in you is warranted.

2. Tell me how you can help me achieve my desires/goals – Help me realize my dreams and goals and I will be loyal customer for life. Not only that, I’ll become an evangelist for you, for free. Don’t tell me about how great your company is, that you’ve been in business for a gazillion years, that you will meet and exceed my expectations, and that you deliver quality, have standards of excellence, all wrapped up in integrity.

3. Tell me how you can be a meaningful part of my life – Let me know how you can become an integral part of my lifestyle or business and I’ll give you my emotion and wallet. Show me how you fit my lifestyle, not make me adapt to your world or do things your way.

Your marketing and advertising should not be a dry recount of your product or service. Your advertising should capture the imagination and stimulate the mind. It is these things that customers will not only buy, but buy into.



About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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