Published on March 10, 2014
Derek Hendrikz www.derekhendrikz.com
The professional salesperson should compete upon the one tenet most vendors overlook: value. In today's economy, more than ever, you must link the value of your offering to your customer. And to your customers' customer. www.derekhendrikz.com
Your company doesn't corner the market. Internet has given your customers the world. Global business is now local business. www.derekhendrikz.com
With cheap vendors creating quality marketing materials, and sound vendors creating boring marketing materials, how can the customer know which vendor to choose? And due to this clutter, many customers simply close their eyes and ears altogether. www.derekhendrikz.com
They're likely questioning you more than you question them. Drawbacks of not positioning your company as such are obvious: You do nothing to stand out - you're just another wolf in the pack. You create no compelling reason for the customer to "listen." You don't fill your customer's need to be heard and understood. You'll be replaced by the sharp vendor that makes this link (if you're lucky enough to retain the customer initially). www.derekhendrikz.com
Creating a conceived linkage to a tangible benefit. Forming mental context. Directing an experience. Creating a means of self-presentation. Creating a means to deliver a message. Building a social / cultural authority. Creating a ‘long hand’. Creating an ‘alter ego’. Building an emotional gym. Facilitating fantasies. www.derekhendrikz.com
The most basic level of branding is creating a conceived linkage between the brand name and other identifiers and a tangible benefit (a result in the physical world or an experience). That benefit is provided by the product itself or any component of the marketing mix. Don't dismiss this basic tenet. Successful brands, like Pantene shampoo (which promises to amend the six symptoms of unhealthy hair), work at this level. The added value here is minimal, but important. www.derekhendrikz.com
A "mental context" is a concept or an organizing principle that allows the consumer to connect unrelated facts (such as the various marketing activities of a company) by guiding intent or by some other common factor. In these cases, the main benefit of the brand to its customers originates in the mental context. For example: should you stumble into a hotel like the "Hudson" or the "Royalton" in the heart of Manhattan, you are promised pleasure on different levels, but if you know you're in a "Boutique Hotel" your stay becomes a very different experience altogether. The Boutique Hotel is a concept that features differences between various hotels in the same chain—sometimes difference between rooms within the same hotel. This mental context drives you to a quest to find the differences. www.derekhendrikz.com
This is essentially a hypnotic effect, in some cases related to placebo. The branding here is the creation of an expectation that allows an experience richer than what the product alone can offer. For instance, Red Bull will make the consumer feel a wave of energy beyond the physical effect of the drink. www.derekhendrikz.com
Here the branding creates a symbol with a meaning that is well known to everybody in a relevant group. It enables the consumer to characterize himself and is used by him for inner communication (to gather motivation for an effort or to strengthen self-image), for interpersonal communication (to create a certain impression) and for public communication (to signal status or affiliation). he Absolut vodka brand became a way for yuppies to signal their yuppie-ness to other yuppies (when the yuppie group was developing). www.derekhendrikz.com
The branding role in this approach is to create a symbol of another kind, its meaning widely known as well. That kind of symbol enables the consumer to make a very specific statement and/or express a very specific emotion. The diamond giant De Beers made the diamond a means of expressing commitment, making the physical fact that a diamond is indestructible a metaphor for the relationship. In September 2003, De Beers started creating a new means to deliver a message, this time targeted at women: the right-hand Ring as a symbol of independence (as apposed to the ring on the left hand, which is often a symbol of commitment). www.derekhendrikz.com
The next branding approach is the creation of an authority that the consumers can use as a guide. That guide helps them to understand what's happening around them and informs them which behavioral ways are normative, what will make them happier and so on. Apple proclaimed itself to be such an authority when it offered the personal computer not only as a working tool but also as a device for self-expression and creativity. The brand started a cultural trend of giving a wide variety of means for ordinary people to express their creativity. www.derekhendrikz.com
The branding creates means for the consumer and empowering him or her to act for noble objectives and high purposes that she can't achieve by herself. The Body Shop made buying a way for contributing to the preservation of the environment and helping people in need all around the globe. www.derekhendrikz.com
The brand is a way for the consumer to behave (at least on a fantasy level) in a manner he would like to but doesn't dare, or isn't willing to pay the price for. The provocation of the fashion brand Diesel is made as if "in the name of" the brand customers. They can feel as if they are provocative themselves every time the brand launches one of its outrageous advertising campaigns. www.derekhendrikz.com
Opting for our civilized and protected lifestyle, we compromise a lot of our possibilities as humans. We go to the gym to prevent the degeneration of our bodies, which because of our lifestyles don't get to face the challenges they are otherwise capable of confronting. Similarly, we watch movies to exercise emotional skills that aren't legitimate or acceptable in our lifestyles. Brands, like Sicily from Dolce & Gabbana, allow us too to experience such emotional possibilities. www.derekhendrikz.com
Similar to the previous one, this branding approach helps the consumer to fantasize an alternative reality. Consumers fantasize about irresistible sex appeal, omnipotence and dominance, importance, success, fatal love, murder and so on. The brand Timberland was designed as a way for consumers to fantasize about courageous adventures against the forces of nature www.derekhendrikz.com
o Know processes o Effective processes o Follow policy and procedures o Constantly review policy and procedures o Surveys or questionnaires www.derekhendrikz.com
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