Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Is Your Brand Selling What People Are Buying?


I’m working with a client who wants to move product.  Can’t blame them.  That’s the job of advertising, isn’t it?

To move product.

Yes. 

And, no.

To most clients, selling product is all that matters.  The goal is to surpass last year’s sales figures for the same time period.  If they do so, Wall Street is happy.  If Wall Street is happy, the Marketing Director's  boss is happy.  If the Marketing Director's boss is happy, the Marketing Director's kids get to go to expensive colleges, so they’re happy.

Everyone’s happy.

Short term.

Because if all you sell is product, the sales strategy soon becomes promotional.  And a promotional strategy, while perhaps promising to be positive in the short term, is never a winning long-term strategy.

What a marketer needs to do is sell not just a product, but also an ethos.  Something that identifies what the brand stands for.  How it’s different.   

Why I, as a consumer, should actually give a damn about it.

The particular client I’m working with doesn’t yet understand this.  They don’t see how ethos and product sales can work hand-in-hand.   How ethos, over time, becomes more important than the product that they are selling in the minds of the consumer.

Look at Nike.   Sure they’re selling a product – shoes.  But what people are buying when they buy Nike is the ethos as much, no, in fact, more, than the shoe itself.

Look at those brands chasing Nike.  Is their ethos as strong?  As well defined?  As well communicated?

Nike found their ethos not in their shoes, but in the soul of athletes, both professional and weekend.

And that’s the key for other marketers.  Not to look in their product for their ethos.  But rather, to look into the soul of their customers.   How does their product tap into their customers’ desires?

Find that, and a marketer will find sales.

And best of all, sales at full price.

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