All posts by luiza

we want to buy, but we don’t want to be sold.

More than ever people want to buy. We want to buy connectivity, status, convenience, protection, comfort, beauty…

But we don’t want to be sold these things. We want to be allured, convinced, seduced, tempted.

So you can talk about features and benefits, but those are not what will tempt someone to buy from you. The features and benefits need to be there so a buyer can justify their purchasing choice. But what will get someone to open their wallet to you over all the others in the market is how you charm them.

It is about seducing, attracting someone to buy from you or donate to you. It is much deeper than a transaction. You’re not providing just a product or service, you’re providing the lifestyle, the feelings people want to experience.

Make sure that lifestyle and feelings are reflected when you communicate about your company.

forget the elevator pitch.

Lets be real, no one buys anything in elevators and much more importantly, no one wants to be recited a rehearsed and contrived summary about your company, product or service. 

The elevator pitch is a well intended effort to get people (entrepreneurs, sales people or anyone in an organization) to articulate clearly and concisely what they do. 

You do need to have everyone in our organization to be able to articulate what you do in a clear, concise and consistent way, but the elevator pitch carries many problems with it. 

The first problem is that most organizations see an elevator pitch as a way to “sell” their products or services. The elevator pitch becomes a selling tool instead of an tool to engage and start a conversation, a relationship.

The second problem is most organizations feel they must include every feature and benefit of the product and service in the elevator pitch, so most elevator pitches are far from concise.

Most elevator pitches, since they are mostly memorized, are also contrived and come across as an insincere delivery of facts and stats. In the best case scenario it can be concise and clear but it’s not compelling or engaging. It doesn’t open the opportunity for a conversation. It doesn’t show a genuine interest in the person we’re talking to, and it doesn’t reflect the passion your organization has not only for what you do but for why you do it. 

No one wants an elevator pitch, we want conversations, we want genuine interactions, we want people that can solve our problems not sell us things.

So don’t develop elevator pitches anymore, instead make sure everyone in your organization understands not only what you do, or how you do it, but why you do it. Let them talk about it their own way and with their own words. This is an interaction so don’t recite a carefully written script, instead encourage genuine conversation. 

You’ll still be concise, clear and consistent but you’ll be a lot more engaging and compelling.

It’s not about you, it’s about your customer.

Yes, Steve Jobs was right, customers often don’t know what they want or need. No focus group would have ever come up with the Ipad or with the easy navigation of the Ipods. The difference however, is that Steve Jobs was a user of the products he was creating and as such created these products with the end user in mind.

Most often than not, Presidents and CEO, leadership teams, boards, managers and often basically all staff are not users of the products and services they provide. When was the last time you tried to register to one of your own events? When was the last time you tried finding something on your website? When was the last time you called your customer service line with a complaint? Or when was the last time you had to access one of your services, filled out one of your customer forms, etc? 

The point is, we create processes or marketing tools and we may in the process think about our customer but often we don’t actually test them from a customer point of view.

Even the organizations that are able to hire professionals to develop these processes or marketing tools must understand that these need to be regularly revisited and improved. Processes became irrelevant, or slow and inconvenient.  Marketing tools may have errors or have not considered different circumstances. 

No, your customers may not always know always be the source of innovation in your creative process or product and service development process but they are ultimately the ones to judge your product and service and decide if they will buy it or not. 

So if it’s not working for them, it won’t for you either.

who does your brand reflect?

Consumers want to relate with brands that are a reflection of themselves.

There are three vital elements in any strong brand, authenticity, relevance and inspiration. Your brand must be authentic, genuine. It must also be relevant to your target audience, it must speak to their needs and desires and it must inspire internally as well as externally.

Your brand therefore should be a reflection of your customers, or better yet of who your customers wish they were, wish they lives were like. Your brand is a reflection of your customer’s dreams and aspirations. In fact, customers feel that through their engagement with your brand their dreams are more attainable. They feel closer to living the life they dream of by engaging with your brand.

This is very clear for products or services such as cars, perfumes, watches, clothes, spa treatments, cleaning services, etc.. But it is also true for other products and services, such as volunteering or donating for a non profit, daycares, etc.

Some companies have managed to have their target audience relate to their brands and see this desired reflection with products that not to long ago we could not even imagine wanting to relate with. Think computers and coffee or water.

A few years ago, a computer was a tool but it was not a symbol, Apple changed that and the same can be true in your industry and for your products and services.

Authenticity is key though. Customers will only truly relate to your brand if they feel you’re genuine. So you need to find out and be able to clearly articulate who you are and what you stand for. Only then will you be able to get your customers to relate with you, be inspired by you and see themselves reflected in your products and services. If you can’t articulate who you are, no one else can and certainly not your customers.