Why everything you know about marketing is wrong!

The difference between buying a product and paying for an experience is one of the most profound distinctions that customers can draw when evaluating whether to do business with you or not. Today we’re taking an in-depth look at how you can overcome this barrier to closing sales…

We often talk about Brand Identity and Brand Image at Adeptio Solutions, and you’ll see our obsession with those concepts reflected in our Blog articles. We place such high value on Brand Identity and Image because they’re the critical component of the idea that our clients present to the world, to their consumers, and to their potential partners. The reason these components are so critical is found in consumer behaviour – why do people buy what they buy? Because they’re not really buying “it” at all, they’re buying the emotional reward that their purchase provides.

Money can buy you happiness

Common wisdom holds that money can’t buy you happiness, but it would be more appropriate to state that money can’t buy you everlasting happiness. At the most fundamental level, every time a customer purchases your goods or services they are temporarily buying the happiness that owning or receiving them brings, and that means they’re actually buying an experience.

Whether it’s the simple pleasure of wearing a new item of clothing, or the lasting satisfaction derived from owning an intricate piece of jewellery, human beings rarely spend their money to acquire things, they spend it to acquire experiences.

even if it’s not a puritanical one, it’s the experience that they’re buying

Consider that most consumers don’t really buy an expensive watch – they buy the one time thrill of purchasing it and the ongoing experience of being the owner of such an expensive watch.

Equally, when someone purchases an item of disposable fashion, they aren’t really buying an item of clothing – they’re buying the pleasure of having new, fashionable clothes. Not only that, due to the disposable nature of the product the consumer is carefree about the short duration of the experience.

Both are investments in an individual’s “bank” of experiences – one short-term, one long. Of course vanity has played a role in both decisions to make a purchase, but that simply reinforces the point: even if it’s not a puritanical one, it’s the experience that they’re buying.

Think your product is different? Think again.

These rules apply to almost every saleable good or service in existence – even supermarkets engage in this form of marketing and selling, which is why high and low-end food retailers are surviving, while “middle of the road” retailers are experiencing severe difficulty and in some cases negative sales growth. The former offers a notable experience, whilst the latter offers a more mundane one.

It’s not what you sell, it’s how you sell it

Selling an experience is about appealing to potential customers before they’ve even laid eyes on your product or service – your brand image decides how they frame your offering. Your name, your logo, your colour scheme, your slogan, and much more are triggering evaluations almost instantly:

Whether you’re selling diamonds or diamanté, you’re selling an experience…

  • Does your image make them feel good?
  • Are you trustworthy?
  • Does your aesthetic fit with the lifestyle they aspire to?
  • Are they already excited because they’ve found out that your brand is something they can experience?

The good news is that companies of all shapes and sizes can develop an appealing, experience-led brand. Startups can build an experience based brand image from the ground up with strong brand development and design, and established SMEs can mature their image through re-branding and up-branding.

Whether you’re selling diamonds or diamanté, you’re selling an experience. It’s a simple concept – but one that has been ignored by many businesses (and even marketers) over the years to their detriment.

Hopefully you’ve found this entry in our marketing blog informative, and you’re already evaluating whether your business is delivering a good enough experience to all your customers. Not sure where to start? Take a look at our branding packages and web design solutions for some inspiration, or just give us a call to organise a consultation and we’ll talk you through all the brand development options open to your business…