Is a Prada pocketbook worth $1,200? What about an Armani suit for close to $2,000? Or a hotel room that goes for $950 a night? Does a $600 pen really work that much better than a pen that sells for a dollar or two?
The answer is “Yes,” IF we believe it to be true!
Marketing is about telling believable stories. If a consumer believes that a Mont Blanc pen is worth $600, then it is so. It’s just that simple! The truth isn’t important if we believe, and buy into, “the story” we’re told, and we see the value of the product or service at the price for which it is being offered.
It’s not the pocketbook itself, or the suit or the pen that justifies the cost. It’s how buying these products make us feel. In reality, so many of the purchases we make are made emotionally. This is why great marketers don’t sell “features and benefits.” Instead, they “work” our emotions and senses, showing consumers how they will act and feel after they have made their purchase.
Ultimately, consumers buy what satisfies them and makes them feel good. And, they will pay a hefty premium for products and services that support their looking good, healthy, rich, successful…and on it goes.
Now, this marketing approach won’t work for everyone. We don’t all want the same things in life. There are those consumers that only buy on price, while others only feel comfortable with true “blue blood” products that have withstood the test of time. There are “stories” for those folks as well but they will be very different.
To be effective, the story you tell must match your prospect’s beliefs, values and current frame of reference. This is why it is so important that you understand your chosen prospects. Once you do, if you can tell your story so that it supports what they are already feeling, they will likely embrace your product or service.
Now, if you are trying to break into a new market, you’ll need an extraordinary story to make consumers want to listen. You can’t say the same thing your competitors are already saying. Remember too, your prospects already have their current frame of references and products and service they already support. Your story will have to be unique and quite compelling to make them want to buy yours.
The vernacular you use to communicate with prospects…your packaging…peer acceptance — ALL play a major role in getting your story told.
Lexus has a story. So does Southwest Airlines. Fedex does as well. What is just as important is that all of these businesses “deliver” on the story they tell. They live up to what they promise.
What these companies have accomplished through effective storytelling and marketing is nothing short of remarkable. It may seem hard, but you can tell an effective story as well. Figure out what it will be and then present yourself to your world.
Bob Stalbaum is a nationally recognized consultant who has developed over 60 different turnkey marketing strategies and campaigns for travel agencies. He is President of Strategies for Success, based in Bala Cynwyd, PA and can be reached at 610-771-0600 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.