Originally published February 24, 2006
Chuck Blore once told of a study he did for CBS. Beer drinkers were surveyed as they entered his testing facility. They each proclaimed a preference, as well as an explanation of why they they had chosen that particular brand of beer.
The participants were then given tasting cups, and were told to help themselves to any of the 20 beers available for comparison tasting.
As they finished and were leaving the testing facility, the participants, all 104 of them, were again surveyed as to their preferences.
Interestingly, not a single participant had changed his or her mind. Each had found validation in the actual testing that the beer he or she had preferred on the way in was indeed more robust, or smoother, or lighter.
Blore never told them that all of the samples were exactly the same.
His conclusion: Advertising makes beer taste better.
What Would You Take For A Headache?
If you were suffering from a headache would you be more likely to take Midol Menstrual Formula® or Excedrin Tension Headache®? If you were suffering from menstrual cramping which would you be more likely to take to relieve your symptoms?
They each have the same active ingredients: acetaminophen and caffeine.* My conclusion: Effective advertising makes pain manageable.
But notice something else at work, here. By limiting themselves to headache relief, or to menstrual pain relief, aren’t the makers of Excedrin™ and Midol™ (McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Corporation, respectively) limiting the number of sales they could make to people with backaches, toothaches, or sore muscles?
Absolutely they are.
They will probably make no sales to those people. And it doesn’t matter.
Name three other products marketed for the relief of menstrual pain. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
OK. Were you able to name three? Two? Most of us named only one.
Why Specialization is Valuable
Now, which would you rather be, one of a dozen products for general pain relief, or the one product that comes to mind when a customer is suffering a particular ailment?
By specializing and becoming the solution to a specific problem, you automatically become the most likely choice of consumers who are experiencing that particular discomfort.
When customers ask for you by name, you’ve succeeded at genuine branding. The lack of branding is the single biggest reason most business advertising isn’t as effective as it should be.
Your first step getting them to ask for you by name is to help shoppers figure out what they get from you that they can’t get from anyone else.
What is it? You sell the same products. You deliver the same services. What differentiates your business from those of your competitors? Why should anyone think of you as the solution to their problem?
Well, why should they?
The perfect solution is also the perfect bait when you’re fishing for customers.
Your Fishing for Customers guide, Chuck McKay, gets people to buy more of what you sell.
Wondering how to articulate your value as a solution? Drop Chuck a note at ChuckMcKay@ChuckMcKayOnLine.com. Or call him at 760-813-5474.
* The active ingrediants are acetaminophen and caffeine. Midol Menstrual Formula® also includes 15 mg of Pyrilamine maleate, a diuretic to relieve water-weight gain.