It’s the fundamental definition of marketing: meeting the needs of customers at a profit. And that includes offering the right products or services, at the right price, where and how the customers want to purchase. But who are these customers? Are you sure you know? And are you sure you are talking to all customers?
Marketers talk a lot about motivating consumers to do something, whether it’s to purchase a product, use a service, or support an idea or cause. However, motivation is not really the beginning. To truly motivate consumers, you first have to understand their values.
[See our previous blog for motivation as a strategy: Would You Rather Persuade, Manipulate, or Motivate? Three Selling Strategies]
Values are the fundamental principles or standards that drive an individual’s judgment of what is valuable or important in life. Values, therefore, define the desirability of something. The amount of time or money a consumer is willing to spend to acquire or achieve something depends on the values of that individual: Values define worth which motivates consumer behavior. Marketers can more effectively achieve the desired consumer behavior if they understand the consumers’ values and use those to connect to their customers.
I say, “Swoosh,” and you say…
Nike, of course.
The Nike swoosh is iconic. Recognized by athletes, spectators, and people the world over, the Nike Swoosh is valued at over $26 billion. Business people love to tell the story that this essential corporate asset was created by a graphic design student at Portland State University in 1971 who was paid about $35 (under $300 in 2017) for her work.
From $35 to $26 billion. Not a bad ROI! Read more
Sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell. The five sources of sensory input for humans are powerful tools for marketers. Identifying the sensory stimuli that are either unique to or associated with your brand story can create a strong connection with consumers. Additionally, identifying a sensory cue that is tied to a category, but is currently not being used is a great opportunity for differentiation. If your brand story can own a sensory cue that is exclusively associated with your brand, it will strengthen consumers’ unique relationship with the brand and build brand equity. Read more
“The contents of the collective unconscious are archetypes, primordial images that reflect basic patterns that are common to us all, and which have existed universally since the dawn of time.” Carl Jung
Smart brands leverage archetypes in their brand stories. Why? Because they create a meaningful structure or person for us to understand our world, which allows brands to create deep connections with consumers. Plus, archetypes telegraph their meaning to consumers, facilitating quick, high-impact messaging. Read more
Secondary research sometimes gets a bum rap. Perhaps because it is named “secondary” marketers assume it has less value. Not true! Research that was done for a different purpose is often referred to as secondary (and can cost much less), but the category goes far beyond that. It can include history, art, literature, archeology, anthropology – just about any source except for primary quantitative and qualitative research. So, just because secondary research is done for a purpose other than the one we are working on is not a reason to dismiss it, as secondary research can give fresh, new perspectives to your thinking about your product or category – and your brand story. Read more
Marketers are in love with storytelling, and for good reason. Human beings are hardwired to listen to, connect with, learn from – and most importantly, remember – stories.
“Just as the brain detects patterns in the visual forms of nature – a face, a figure, a flower – and in sound, so too it detects patterns in information. Stories are recognizable patterns, and in those patterns, we find meaning. We use stories to make sense of our world and to share that understanding with others. They are the signal within the noise,” according to Frank Rose, writing in Wired.
So as marketers, we focus on telling stories in our content marketing, in advertising, in our presentations. But there is one important story that your firm may be neglecting: your brand story. Read more
Motivations are powerful, but are not easy to get people to identify and articulate in marketing research. Because motivations are about unconscious patterns, consumers think, feel and behave in ways that are often automatic and without much thought. However, motivations are always based on very deep and personal values. Depending on the product or service category, or industry, different approaches may be used to pinpoint your customer’s motivations. Read more
Many corporations spend millions – if not hundreds of millions – on marketing campaigns to build their brand with customers. But many forget their brands are delivered by employees. One of the least expensive and most effective ways to strengthen your brand is to have employees who (1) understand and connect with your brand values and (2) are motivated to consistently deliver your brand to customers. Read more
Many marketers believe that one of the key differences in B2B and B2C marketing is that B2B purchase decisions are more rational. While it is true that businesses usually include more people in the process, and there may be more analysis and justification, that fact is that B2B purchase decisions are ultimately made by people. And people are not always rational. Read more