The challenge to brands and their owners or curators today is how to compete more effectively in a steadily increasingly crowded marketplace.
And I don’t mean the marketplace you physically compete in I mean the “Marketplace of the Mind of the Customer”.
This is the real marketplace and it is becoming more crowded everyday with over-stimulation of information from media and brands.
And the customer (that’s you and me and everyone else on the planet) is becoming increasingly adept at screening out the tsunami of unwanted messages.
So what’s the solution?
Well you have to turn your thinking upside down. Stop thinking about yourself, your brands, your company, your objectives. It’s not about you. Really!
Start thinking about your customer. No really!
Customers, people, us, we, live our lives with a shopping list of needs and desires. Most of these are pretty trivial and don’t matter all that much.
We need coffee. We need to catch up with the daily news. We need a comfortable ride. We need something to entertain us.
They aren’t really needs are they? Well sort of.
We need security. We need to belong, to love and be loved. We need health. We need something to believe in. These are fundamental drivers.
And we make choices everyday that are either consistent or inconsistent with those needs.
We allow products, services, brands, messages into our lives that enrich our lives according to our dominant needs in that moment.
We reject those that don’t accord with our needs and desires in a given moment.
You don’t really need an umbrella. Unless it starts to rain. And then umbrellas become quite important momentarily until it stops raining.
Great brands and clever marketers understand this contract that human beings enter into with the universe. The exchange of value.
When I need it, or perceive I need it, or just desire it, that’s the best time to talk to me.
Understand me, my motivation, my goal, in the right place and at the right time and I’ll give you my attention.
Otherwise, at the very least, entertain me or inform me so I’ll think of you when the time comes.
So yes, it’s true, every marketing challenge starts and ends with customer understanding. It doesn’t start with you.
Good to get that the right way round.
You need to.