What if I told you that you could sell exponentially more than you currently do? What if I explained a few secrets to help you connect with your customers? Would you do the work necessary to make the changes to your business to become successful?
It sounds like the beginning of a cheesy infomercial, but the minute I made these realizations and started making changes to my business, I discovered success on a level I could have never imagined. My sales increased by 30% in the first month, and steadily doubled from the previous year. Moreso, however, was how I was connecting with my customers and building my brands.
The biggest secret of all business is that all business is emotional.
Matthew Quint of Columbia University Business School explains brand strategy as “Brand = Company Purpose (Mission/Values/Etc.) + Consumer Perception.” A complete brand makes an emotional connection with the consumer. For example – think about Disney. It meets all of Quint’s requirements for knowing “the customer, the competition, and your own brand” to determine that the brand is “relevant, differentiated, credible.” Once your brand has achieved this trifecta, it will create an emotional response in the consumer.
“People buy things to realize their aspirations” – Mr. Cooper on Mad Men
This second psychological realization came as I was lost in the brilliant advertising world of Mad Men. This powerful quote highlights the deeply-rooted desire for the aesthetic. The perfect example is how people who cannot afford luxury vehicles spend the money on them. In reality, in terms of finance, the most financially savvy individuals know to not bother spending money on luxury vehicles, yet, people will continue to make huge monthly payments on a luxury car – why? Because people buy things to realize their aspirations. Your brand needs to become a brand of aspiration. You need to offer a glimpse of who your customer wants to become.
People will do anything to alleviate their anxiety.
There are extremes to this selling point, the obvious being vices – drugs, sex, alcohol, food, and gambling, but tapping into this on a deeper level will create interest, risk, and trust. A car that offers numerous safety ratings, an apothecary line which creates a sense of calm, diet-friendly baked goods, etc. Understanding this psychological aspect to selling should guide the way you look at your branding and product line – what are you doing to make someone’s life easier to live? Demonstrating this point will create value and purpose (incalculable necessities) behind your product. And don’t worry if you think your product doesn’t apply – use the soft drink industry as your example: “The Coke Side of Life,” Open Happiness.” If they can make soda seem like it reduces anxiety, then anything can be sold at that angle.
Start by revisiting your brand with these three points in mind. If you can’t address these psychological aspects of selling your brand and products, what will you change first?