Originally published August 29, 2021. Has been edited due to…becoming a better writer. It happens. You deserved better value for your time – so I’m giving it to you.
“Your product doesn’t matter. The solution does.”
You know those moments when you’re in a conversation and you say something that strikes like a lightning bolt. Well, that happened when I was talking about brand value with a fellow marketer.
It was like a hot searing iron to the skin – that’s how memorable it was.
And it’s exactly what your customers want to hear.
I was chatting with a fellow marketer one day – just catching up and riffing about the daily grind. She brought up a specific struggle she was having with a new client.
The client sells vending machines. She asked me,
“How do I make vending machines sexy?”
“It’s not about the vending machine. It’s about the solution that the vending machine provides.
It’s about the university kid that has a day full of lectures and didn’t remember to pack snacks, because he was up late studying…
It’s about the person running between meetings but has waned mental clarity due to hunger…
It’s about that same person needing an afternoon pick-me-up. They had meetings all morning and now have to attend to a mountain of paperwork that won’t sort itself out…
It’s about the heartbreak of getting your snack stuck in a vending machine when you’re already hangry…
…and being the one to promise that it won’t happen again.”
Put it on display
Vending machine fetishes aside, this thought process applies to all products and services. Consumers don’t care about your product – all they care about is their problem and finding a solution.
Brand associations can take years to establish – take Apple and innovation, or Nike and performance.
But being there, with your hand raised at the right time (ie. university campuses, malls, offices), displaying that you’re the solution to their problem, is something any brand can do.
Make sure that your product’s value isn’t buried underneath a bunch of jargon. You’ve worked hard on your product – display what it can do in an intriguing, easy-to-understand way.
And that’s where difficulty can emerge. For many business owners, they’re so deep into their product it can be hard to articulate its benefits without using technical terms. Copywriters, like myself, can help bridge that gap.
But it’s not the only way. Take a couple steps back and consider, “What really matters to my customer? How does my product make their life easier?”
If you’re having a hard time relating to your customers, you may need to work on your value proposition to build trust.
Value Life Experiences
Life experiences will typical unveil what really matters in life.
Below is a picture of an abandoned structure not too far from my house. I discovered it while hiking one day.
I couldn’t have predicted to see this building in the woods. But it attracted me. Or rather the beckoning light at the end of it did – like harkening angels on a hot, sticky day.
It made me curious, plus kept Ontario’s flying microvampires at bay. It provided protection, intrigue, and artistic inspiration.
In other words, it created value in an unexpected way – exactly when I needed it.
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