One of the things we continually preach to our clients is to discover the inner meaning of your product or service. This has little to do with its functionality or serviceability. It is more about the emotional need you answer for your customer.
The AMC television series Mad Men gave us a perfect example of this during its season one finale. Part of the story arc involves the ad agency’s new business pitch to Kodak. The client has just introduced a new technology that will revolutionize the age-old slide projector. And the client, who is predictably seduced by this new technology, wants to lead with it, and explain to the consumer how this new system will make showing slides so much easier and convenient for them.
Don Draper, the agency’s creative director, has a different take on how to sell the product. You can see it here in this clip:
Technologies change. Features are added. Product lines evolve. Competition changes. But the core reason for doing business with you—the emotional need you are satisfying—need never change. Honda came out with a campaign in the early 70’s (via Chiat/Day) around practicality. The tag line was “We keep it simple.” While Hondas have changed quite a bit over the last 35+ years (you probably wouldn’t even recognize a ’76 Civic), if you ask, “Quick, name a car that stands for practicality,” Honda will likely be one of the first few responses from most people.
Customers do business with people (and companies) that “get” them. And there’s no better way to demonstrate that than to understand and answer that deeper psychological need.
Posted by Mickey