Hopefully, that statement isn’t too much of a newsflash for you. You should know that your brand and your marketing aren’t about you—It’s about the customer. It’s about providing the best brand for your target market. So how do you help your people understand the customer better to move away from a focus on revenue production?
Understand your own behavior
Bill Harper believes it comes down to an understanding of your own behavior. Once you become loyal to a brand, you lose all objectivity almost immediately. Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why” states that there’s an internal why, i.e., “Why do we care?” and then there’s an external why, i.e., “Why should they care?” Those two things must work in harmony like two sides of a coin. Your passion for what you do doesn’t just bleed through everything that they do.
We need to make sure there’s a construct people can grab and hold on to so they know how to arrive at the appropriate messaging. You must also take a moment and catch yourself in the act of being human. Bill has so many people say, “I’m not a brand person” while they’re wearing a Rolex or driving up in a Porsche. Of course they are. The question is, do you catch yourself and notice how you engage with brands? Do you realize that it’s making people feel safe and important and changing their emotional state for the better?
Brands have one responsibility: To get other people to feel “Oh my gosh, did they get it?” People buy emotionally and justify logically. Once that piece is there, the logic comes back down the path. We are all of us nothing but a doorstop to someone else’s arm full of groceries. If we can’t get the door, and someone else is there to open it, then we’re valuable.
It’s about the relationship with the customer
According to Bill, “The more you’re able to align what you do and are passionate about with an understanding of why they would put you in their universe in the first place, that’s where that relationship is. It’s not about how innovative you are or how many features and benefits you have.”
Andrea Kayal says you need to ask: “Are you selling painkillers or vitamins?” Anyone can choose any vitamins. But if you’re buying a painkiller, you go for the best one possible. The real question is, are you relevant to someone’s solution? If so, you’re a good option. If you’re not, it won’t matter how much you push and pry.
If you’re selling vitamins, you’re in the commodity game. It becomes a challenging game to play if your brand doesn’t separate you.
Your values need to align
If you have a Porsche on one side and a Prius on the other, how hard will you have to sell the Prius to the Porsche guy or vice versa? Why waste the time. You might convert 3% of the people, but at what insanely high cost? The majority won’t convert. The person who wants to make a smaller footprint supporting the Prius is no less emotionally engaged than the person in the Porsche. It’s just a different value set. The innovation, features, and benefits won’t matter because the value structure is wrong to begin with. It’s not a match.
You have to understand that it’s not about you in order to understand what it is about. Once you do, you can align the things that you value with the things that your customer values.
“They get it” is code for “they get me,” which means “They share the same values that I do,” which is code for “These are my people.” Everything about how we value one another is based on a sense of community or tribe mentality. Humanity is so hard-wired for that that there’s no way to escape it. The perception of value starts with “Do they honor who I am first?” as a part of who they are as a company. If more businesses understood the value of the power of that, the success would be exponential.
To hear the full conversation on refocusing your brand, how to avoid “letting the cats herd you,” and how to think bigger-er, listen to episode #42 of the Content Callout podcast!