4 ways selling ideas will earn you more than just selling products

by Katrina Douglas, 09.01.17

Ever wondered why some companies are worth so much and others so little when on the surface they all sell the same things? Well, it’s because some simply sell products and others package their products in meaning; they sell a lifestyle, an experience or a philosophy.

The most compelling brands today have a narrative that transcends product

Here are some examples:

  • Uber – they don’t just sell taxi rides, they are evolving the way the world moves
  • Go pro – they don’t just provide a tool that helps you record video while cycling or driving, they help you capture & share life’s most meaningful experiences with others
  • Airbnb – they don’t just sell accommodation but help you find accommodation for unique travel experiences

We live in the age of the ethical consumer where people buy into a businesses’ ideology not just the products they sell. With so much choice available from the mass of retailers that exist, this is a luxury that consumers can afford.
The good news is that you can tap into this trend quite simply without having to invest a penny in additional assets, all you need to do is add a dose of authenticity and creativity to your offering.

Here’s a few tips:

1. Sell ideas for usage

Most of us are lazy consumers. We don’t want to have to imagine how your product can add value to our lives, we want you to tell us, or better still show us the benefits. Paint a picture for your buyers that helps them imagine themselves using or consuming your product. For example:

  • If you are a fashion retailer, show images of existing customers wearing your items, add visuals of complete outfits that will go with your items, suggest colors that will match etc.
  • If you sell knowledge products like books and courses; share examples of how the knowledge shared can help buyers in ways that they may not have thought of

2. Sell meaning

Buyers don’t just care about the products that you sell but increasingly what you stand for, so tell them and make it part of your brand and product positioning. What values do you promote in your business, sharing these makes your brand more relatable, and consumers are more prone to buy from brands they connect with in a meaningful way. Brands like Innocent do an excellent job of this, take a look at their website, packaging and advertising and you’ll get a feel for their values and what they stand for right away. It’s the reason why many will put an innocent drink in their trolly over ‘Tesco own brand’, despite the price difference.

3. Tap into consumer needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs states that we have three sets of needs; basic needs (e.g. food water, warmth), psychological needs (e.g. relationships, prestige, accomplishment) and self-fulfilment needs (achieving ones full potential). Most people have their basic needs met so selling a blanket and promoting the fact that it will keep people warm for example, is o.k. but not overly compelling because most people have blankets that will keep them warm. Selling that same blanket as something that will keep them warm but will also add to the décor of their bedroom in a range of luxurious colours and fabrics more compelling. This is because you’re also tapping into psychological needs.

4. Sell a journey

Marketing is about relationships and good relationships aren’t stagnant, they move. Your customers should never reach a dead end, there should always be somewhere for them to go with your business; whether that’s moving from a one-off purchaser, to a frequent purchaser, or a member to a reseller. It’s important that at each point in your customers journey you know where you want the relationship to go next. Position yourself as an organization that cares about more than a single a purchase and see customers come back and recommend others again and again.

Try some of these ideas for yourself and increase your sales with less effort than you may have thought.

For more tips visit http://katrinadouglas.marketing/

About the author

is a Chartered Marketer with over a decade of marketing experience. She is the founder of Katrina Douglas Marketing a consultancy dedicated to equipping small business owners and solopreneurs with the marketing resource they need to accelerate the growth of their business. Website: http://katrinadouglas.marketing/

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