I, and many other people of the technological age, have a problem with the word “selling.” My belief is marketing is best done, not by selling, but by educating.
When marketers give consumers the kind of information which predisposes them to purchase from you, you’re doing everyone a service. When you slather them in overused, meaningless sales terms you’re wasting breath, time and money. It’s like the dog that hears a master say blah, blah, blah, blah, want to go out?, blah, blah. Consumers today have become inured to sales pitches. Not only do they not hear them, they’re often repelled by them.
Brand strategy — the “organizing principle for product, experience and messaging” — positions a product for success. The process by which one builds such a strategy is drive by boiling down “customer care-abouts” and “brand good-ats.” But here’s the catch: those care-abouts and good-ats must be values that persuade. Values that move a customer closer to a sale. They can’t be generic values, e.g., best tasting. And they shouldn’t be non-endemic values, e.g., best customer service.
I’ve coined the term “benefit-shoveling.” When marketers shovel benefits at consumers, and they haven’t spent time boiling them down or choosing persuasive benefits, they are not building a brand. They are tearing it asunder.