Why selling your solution is better than selling your product.
You love your product. Your product is cool. Everyone should be using it. Now that might be true, but listing off all the reasons why your product is the most awesome, cool product out there is not going to do anything to help you move it off your shelf. Consumers now are very resistant to being sold to. They have been marketed to death and they don’t care about all the cool features of your awesome product.
Cue Nike and their innovative marketing strategy. With the use of emotional branding, empowering athletes to throw away fear and just do it, they sell a solution. Nike, named after the Greek goddess of victory, could have come out and talked about how their shoes would help athletes run faster, jump higher, do it better, but instead, they marketed the struggle that athletes experience as well as the success that ensues.
Here’s what it looks like to come up with a winning strategy like Nike’s:
Who is your target customer?
Not everyone is your customer, zero in on your ideal customer. Although pretty much everyone wears shoes, Nike’s products are specifically targeted to athletic-minded folks. One of the first steps in their marketing plan: Athletic Sponsorships. Connect your brand to the highest level of your ideal customer. The level to which all other customers compare themselves and try to live up to. You can do this either by financial sponsorship (if you have deep pockets) or simply by finding someone who’s personal message aligns itself with your company’s and push their message. In the case of Nike, from the number of athletes that they sponsor and have aligned themselves with, Serena Williams’ message is among the best. Fearlessly unapologetic, she is one of the best athletes. Ever. In the case of not-Nike, if your company message aligns itself with the strong female role model messages of someone like J-Law, then support her message alongside your own.
What are their needs or pain points?
Think about the goals your ideal customer is trying to achieve and present them with the solution to help them make it a reality. What is the purpose of your product? Why are people buying your product? What solutions are you solving with it and what is the reward for solving that pain point? Nike’s solution turned out to be the health benefits of fitness, running specifically. The pain points that they aim to solve are the fitness struggles. To get in shape, stay in shape, to find the top of your game, to exceed it.
Sell the emotional gain that your solution provides.
When you find the right pain point that your target audience connects with in a real way, that’s when you “hit them in the feels”. Connecting emotionally to what your audience struggles with makes them realize that 1. they’re not alone with this struggle and 2. that your product may just be the solution they’re looking for. Nike doesn’t sell shoes, they sell the message: Success comes from working hard. They sell the message: Life isn’t about finding your limits. It’s about realizing you have none. “Find your Greatness” is a video series of average people who “Just do it”. Average people overcoming the same struggles that we all struggle with.
So how does “Selling Greatness” apply to you and your business? You need to follow in Nike’s trailblazing footsteps. Know your target, know their needs and show them the benefit of filling that need. If you sell mattresses, you need to market what you can achieve with a good night sleep. If you sell winter coats, you need to sell the love of cold weather. If you sell beauty services, you need to share the benefits that come with confidence.