Posts Tagged ‘marketing strategy’

Poor design begets cheap customers

October 13th, 2008 No comments

We all have heard sayings such as “Love at first sight,” “The first impression will never be forgotten” or “You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

It shouldn’t come to a surprise that these sayings apply to your marketing communications as well, specially where the customer is going to buy the final product, like a store, a catalog and of course your website.
With an overwhelming number of offerings in the market, customers tend to make snap or gut decisions, usually determined by what they see and their reaction to it. This doesn’t mean, of course, that there are no educated buyers that do an exhaustive research before buying, because there are; however it will depend on what are you selling and how the benefits of your product (or service) are evaluated by your customers.

If you portray a poor image of your product or service, especially during the first impression, that doesn’t match your desired positioning you are in big trouble because you will be losing an important time to connect with your customers. I have seen countless websites that sell computer security and the look sketchy. How the hell are you going to trust someone that doesn’t look trustable?

Well, some people may not like the following statement but the vast majorities of humans are superficial and tend to judge based on appearance (maybe not all, but be honest, you have done so at least once in your life). Therefore if you are selling based on the image or brand your product begets then make sure you are sending a compatible message between not only your brand strategy and your product, but also your customer. You have to make that connection in order to excel on perceptions and expectations.

This is why design is an important part of marketing communications and should be carefully guarded. It should be a tool to reinforce your product or service benefits and if you get it right, it will contribute to consumer’s good will and loyalty. But here is a tipping point on this especially for designers and marketers: Your opinion is irrelevant; it is your customers’ what matters… but I’ll leave that for another post in which I’ll talk about it and about customer-centric organizations.

If this is the first time you read my blog, I hope I’ve made a positive first impression.

Wants vs Needs and Features vs Benefits

Let’s assume you have a great product or service and you would like to sell it. That is pretty much any entrepreneur challenge, to sell. Since you created the product you will think that is so amazing that as soon it hit the market, people will fight each other to get it as if they where future-brides on a wedding gown sale.

Alas, the truth is that situation seldom happens (unless you are selling wedding dresses to future brides at half-price or less), and usually is really depressing or shocking for the entrepreneur to notice that no one understands how marvelous product or service offered is and how is going to make their lives simpler, more comfortable or more entertaining!

If you are having that problem even after your marketing campaign has started, then you may need to re-evaluate what are you broadcasting to your customer and what kind of product or service are you offering. Among many possible issues, I will mention two common problems when creating comprehensible marketing campaign:

  • First, you need to know if you are selling something that is “a must have” or “a nice to have.” Your marketing communication have to make emphasis on whatever the nature of your offering is, so you can tell the consumer either how does it solve their pains, or how does it make their lives even better.
  • The second one is whether you are broadcasting the features or the benefits. Usually is better to broadcast the benefits of what you are selling, for example: let’s say you sell a top notch computer mouse, and you know that it is ergonomically designed and has 3000dpis of resolution. Those are features and that may not be understandable for all your potential customers, but if you translate those features to benefits such as “your hand will never get tired after playing computer games all night” or “the accuracy of the mouse will let you click on what you want without struggling” then you are telling something easy to understand to the consumer. After this step you will need to figure out which benefit is the most important for your potential customer.

Defining these two concepts will help you to determine what you need to tell to your customer in your marketing copy so they can understand and see the value on what you are offering.

By the way, I know this blog is not (yet) a “must read”, I’m just warming up. I hope it is at least “nice to read”