By understanding the reasons why your users buy or engage with your product or service, you will be better able to clarify your marketing messages, enhance your brand identity and ultimately control and influence the decision making process of your target audience.
When considering reasons for buying you should acknowledge and understand the difference between hooks and imperatives.
An imperative is a key feature of the product or service which is fundamental to the buying decision.
This is likely to be the key driver for use and will be intrinsically linked to the consumer need.
Hooks are motivators for purchase – the nice to haves that will be able to sway or influence a consumer’s decision to buy.
Key areas for Thought:
This section is strongly related to your product‟s or service‟s Features, Advantages and Benefits but is important to review them and understand why this will encourage consumers to buy, use or simply engage with your business.
• What will people gain from using your product?
• What problems does your product solve?
• What value will your product deliver?
Other key areas to consider are:
• How might people look amongst their peers when buying your product?
The behaviour and opinions of our peers continues to influence our purchasing decisions. Social Proof encourages us to buy or engage with products or services our peers share or positively review. It has become a huge concern for many businesses as word of mouth marketing and peer to peer referral becomes an increasingly important and effective channel for business growth. However, how we are perceived amongst our peers will also influence our purchasing decisions and buying behaviour. It is important for you to understand how your consumers will be perceived by their peers when they share their purchasing decisions.
• Will they be seen as innovative?
• Will they lead a trend through their network?
• Will they look knowledgeable?
• Will they have accessed that which some of their peers won‟t be able to?
• Will it look like they are getting value for money?
• or will their peers think they have made a poor decision and suggest alternative brands or solutions?
• What level of risk is involved with buying your product?
It is important to consider what might hinder people from buying or using your product or service in order to successfully address and overcome these concerns in your sales and marketing activity. Risks may be created through a lack of clarity around your proposition, a non measurable Return On Investment, your branding and what this means to your consumers and how engaging with your business may affect their relationship with their peers. Whilst it may feel a little uncomfortable highlighting the risks or potential objection points in your product or service, it is important to acknowledge and understand them so you are able to address and overcome them as you move forward.
Reasons for Buying
1. If your new product or service is both highly innovative and in high demand, you have ultimately struck gold. In this position you are likely to be an iconic brand and should invest in establishing a strong, innovative and thought provoking brand. It is likely that your brand will be highly desirable and admired by many consumers and, as with a business like apple, peoples buying decisions will be governed largely by your brand reputation. You should be established as leaders, innovators and will need to demonstrate your infinite knowledge of product and service development. Your brand will be known for being user centric and focused on meeting the demands of your consumers. It is important for you to test and iterate your value proposition before you launch and this is likely to be the most influential aspect of your business. It is important to bear in mind that your consumers will need to be able to trust your brand and feel comfortable that your innovative products are completely aligned to consumers needs and demand as well as pushing the boundaries in terms of technological development and innovation. As a highly disruptive business, it is unlikely that you will use traditional marketing channels. In this position, you should expect a large interest from press, bloggers and should attract a high rate of social sharing and peer to peer referral.
2. Whilst many consumers are likely to currently admire your business for its innovative approach, the need for the products or services you produce is fairly low. It is likely that you will have a small number of loyal followers who are pioneers, digital natives who are always trying new solutions and experimenting with new developments. In order to reach mass market saturation, you need to create a consumer demand for your product or service through creating a need or reason for engagement through your marketing activity. If your user benefits are truly aligned with consumer demand, it is essential that you create a marketing plan with these benefits at the core. Your creative execution should rely purely on your user benefits rather than your brand or the product itself. If your benefits are not truly aligned with your consumer need, you will need to create an alternative reason for using your product or service. Here, you can seek to create a team of ambassadors who will encourage use through social proof and word of mouth marketing. You may wish to explore partnerships which add benefit driven value to your innovations or create an exclusive reason to engage with your brand which may materialise in a celebrity endorsement or association. If exploring the mass market is not part of your business plan and you are happy to reach and saturate a market niche, it is likely that your marketing will be focused on your pioneering approach which will naturally appeal to digital natives and those at the forefront of change in your industry. These individuals are likely to be less interested in the user benefits of your product and service and more interested in simply understanding the advancement s you have made to the industry. However, your product or service is unlikely to have a long life cycle so it will be important for you to consider how and when you are going to extract profit from your business and be careful not to reinvest in wide scale marketing activity when your product is unlikely to ever be adopted by the mass market.
3. If your business, product or service is limited in innovation and demand, it is likely that you are launching an existing product or service to a niche audience. In this case, that niche is likely to understand the benefits of your product or service and your main focus in terms of creating traction will come down to demonstrating a competitor advantage. You should use channels which are similar to those used by your competitors and invest in truly understanding your competitor landscape, and your position in it before you launch your product or service. Your brand should highlight the difference between you and your competitors and be entirely focused on what this unique selling point will mean for your consumers. If you are looking to reach mass market with this product or service, it is unlikely that you will ever be able to achieve this given your buyer position. It is important that you revisit your product or service to create a consumer demand or develop a new aspect of your business which will attract consumers due to its innovative nature.
4. With a product or service which is high in demand but low in innovation, it likely that you are repeating an existing model but at a lower rate, with a better service or a stronger brand. It is likely that your consumers will already be using one of your competitors and your launch will need to be both fast moving and far reaching to ensure you reach and acquire a significant share of the market. It is important, before you launch this product or service, that you have a clear understanding of your market position. Your brand and marketing activity should be entirely focused on the benefits this unique position brings to your consumers. It will be important that you can demonstrate reasons for consumers to trust your brand and your business as it is likely that you are anticipating they will change their engagement with a current supplier in order to engage with you. Should there be any strong objections to your business, it is important that you address these in your marketing activity and demonstrate why they do not undermine the benefits you bring. It is also important that in your communication you acknowledge your competitors and highlight both their strengths and their weakness, placing you as a stronger alternative to the products or services they offer. Whilst this may feel a little uncomfortable it is important that you are able to understand and influence their decision making.
To read the rest of the series, please click below: