When Industry Knowledge Matters: Why Customers Elect to Buy
- Posted on Mar 20, 2012 in CHI Insight
Vetting your product messaging
Setting up your product strategy is a bit like preparing a candidate in a political election. Usually no one candidate has all the qualities voters are looking for, and competition in the marketplace represents other candidates running for election.
That means it is your job to develop the most appealing overall message for your product or service.
Brand versus product: the age old debate
The age-old debate between emphasizing your brand or highlighting your product can produce real political battles within your organization. What follows are some hints about how to manage that process.
Leading with your brand: the personality approach
If you are going to lead with your brand, you must consider how much customers already know about your product or services. This is your company’s “character,” an important attribute in earning the trust of your customers.
Brand marketing often works well if you are in a stable product cycle. But if your company is introducing new products or services, brand marketing may fail to communicate those important new opportunities to buy.
Leading with your product: engineering your approach
Wrapping your product messaging around the engineering of your product will appeal to customers who are interested in its utility. But it may fall far short in attracting the attention of customers interested in solutions. Engineer-speak can be a major turn-off to many customers.
Leading with product benefits and features: the value proposition
Communicating the quality and commitment behind your product or service is one of the best ways to earn favor with your customers. But there are challenges here as well. Delivering clarity on your value proposition is not a simple enterprise, because it can be difficult to be objective about your company or its offerings, thus compromising your message strength.
That is why a third set of eyes can be extremely helpful in “winning the election,” whether it be a competition for new business or earning loyalty from existing customers. Even the best candidates sometimes get their messaging wrong. Sometimes that final vote comes from the top of your organization, and sometimes from outside sources and even test-marketing that can give vital feedback on your company, brand or product messaging.
In the worlds of business and politics, it all comes down to whether people understand and believe what you’re saying. Take that synthesis seriously and you’re on your way to success.