Stop Selling What You Have …

Stop selling what you have and start selling what they want. People buy benefits, not attributes … always. They buy the promise of a need or a want fulfilled; the anticipation of a wish come true. Sometimes that promise represents a tangible problem solved. Other times (often), it’s an intangible, but equally important desire for status, convenience, belonging or something similarly wishful.

Every branding strategy should start with a SWOT … an assessment of your offering’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths identify potential benefits. Opportunities identity potential needs. Opportunities in the marketplace that potentially match your offering’s Strengths have promise as competitive consumer benefits … but not quite yet.

Consider the Strengths that you have to work with and identify your target market. Who are the Ideal Prospects for your product or service? They should be people who have a need or a desire that is well-matched with your offering. Then think, carefully, and make sure that you can answer these questions before you proceed further:

• WHO are these prospects?

• WHAT is important to them?

• HOW do they obtain information to make buying decisions?

• WHICH types of media or other information sources do they use to get that information and, therefore,

• WHERE will you be able to find them and speak to them?

Then also ask: WHY is your offering the best one to fulfill their needs? And WHY is it more competitive that what your competitors are offering? There are no simple answers in marketing, but there are very clear, very basic questions that you can (and should) ask yourself before beginning any outreach effort. … Lori Martinek, Branding Expert & Author,

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