It’s easy as a business owner to get obsessed with marketing — organic reach, paid reach, impressions, lookalike audiences etc., whilst failing to answer the most important question a customer has: “why should I care about your product?”
First, what is brand positioning? Business Dictionary defines brand positioning as:
“A marketing strategy that aims to make a brand occupy a distinct position, relative to competing brands, in the mind of the customer.
Companies apply this strategy either by emphasizing the distinguishing features of their brand or they may try to create a suitable image (inexpensive or premium, utilitarian or luxurious, entry-level or high-end, etc.)”
If there is a significant gap between marketing strategy and your brand positioning, then that gap is eating up sales and revenue. As this gap becomes smaller, your sales will increase further — its that simple!
For some context, I’ve worked in marketing for nearly 10 years, with a couple of years in Head of Marketing and CMO roles before starting up my own agency in London, UK.
One thing we pride ourselves on at the agency is generating maximum revenue for our clients in a short time frame. We’ve had good success with this for the first year we were operating, but sales for our clients increased dramatically when we stopped thinking like marketers, and starting thinking like brand managers.
Branding pioneer, Marty Neumeier (lived in Sillicon Valley since the 80’s and has designed for Adobe, Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft) emphasises the need to pay attention to the order in which your customer will view your sales proposition (in our case, a Facebook ad). He’s spent decades refining his thinking on this, with the biggest brands in the world.
When a potential customer sees your ad, there is a moment when their eyes are looking right at you— this is your one and only time to shine. Neumeier calls this small window of opportunity ‘the branding moment’.
Neumeier lays out 5 stages of how a customer views a product on a supermarket shelf, with each stage often being entirely subconscious.
There are very few people reading this that will ever need to sell a product on a shelf, but this framework is directly relatable to advertising on social media (I’ll go in to why in a moment). First, the 5 stages:
- Shopper notices packaging on shelf — notices strong colours, contrasting tones.
- Shopper asks ‘what is it?’
- Asks ‘why should I care’
- Looks for more information
- Shopper has decided if they are ready (or not) to consider price and features.
When translated to seeing your ad on Facebook/Instagram this translates to:
- Your target customer stops scrolling when they see your ad — strong colours, contrasting tones grab attention.
- Target customer asks ‘what is it?’ — your tagline (or headline) should answer this for them.
- Asks ‘why should I care?’ — this is where you can touch on their pain points and differentiate your product from your competition.
- This creates the desire for more info — you need to creatively peak their interest and pull them in with a clear why-to-buy message.
- They are now ready (and primed) to see your features, prices, guarantees, awards and whatever else will take them over the line.
Putting this into practice may seem straight forward, and you may be reading this thinking ‘but, I already do that’ — well if you take a look at one of your ads right now, with those 5 stages in mind, you’ll likely see a significant gap between points.
And what’s important to remember is, if any of those points are weak, your brand positioning is weak — resulting in a breakdown in communication between your ad and your potential customer.
Okay, so how exactly did we use this methodology to generate over $100,000 in sales?
The first step was to turn off all ads and start again.
We redesigned everything.
New copy, defined new USPs, new tone of voice, new images.
But for us, what was most important was to first understand what differentiated the products that we were selling, from their direct competitors so that we could effectively communicate this when considering point number 3 above.
We spent a week drafting ads, editing, refining, until we had a completely different ad that the ones we were originally running. After we made the new ads live, the results were immediate.
There is one question that has been asked by designers and their marketing counterparts since the dawn of advertising; ‘what drives the customer to buy — logic or emotion?’.
Well, it’s both, if you use a clearly defined methodology you can tap into logic and emotion, allowing you to maximise sales.
Everything I wrote above has been a total gamechanger for our clients — have any questions? Ask away