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The Logic behind the Irrational Decision Making Process

October 8th, 2012 | Comments Off | Posted in Marketing

It’s commonly said that, for the most part, humans are a rational species and base decisions on logical thinking. When it comes to buying products and services, though, logic many times takes a back seat to emotions. Initial decision-making thought processing involves the reptilian part of our brain – the part of the brain most concerned with basic necessities such as food, water, safety, pleasure and avoidance of pain.

That doesn’t mean that all rational thinking goes out the door. As a marketer, though, you’ll want to understand that convincing someone to buy has much more to do with appealing to their emotions than to their fact-based reasoning side.

One of the best ways to leverage emotional appeal in your marketing is to distinguish between features and benefits. Features are things, benefits are feelings. Although we, as consumers, are looking to buy “things”, we want to make sure we’re satisfying a more underlying need – the need for approval or prestige, acceptance, safety, value and well-being.

A great example of emotion-based selling is Disney’s approach to their theme parks.  They do not market their theme parks as places with state-of-the-art rides – but instead promote these parks as a way as a magical place to build memories.

So, when you’re crafting your marketing, be sure that your primary selling points include emotion-power words such as: imagine, feel, safe, special, amazing and exclusive. And don’t forget to include an emotion packed tagline with your logo on all of your promotional products.

The Importance of Branding

September 19th, 2012 | Comments Off | Posted in Marketing

When you see the swoosh of the Nike logo, you think of running shoes. When you see the Facebook logo, you think of interacting on the world’s largest social network. When you see an apple with a bite taken out, you think of Apple’s many electronic products. Branding is defined as communicating your core message with your name, symbol or logo that identifies your product and company, and despite many marketer’s feelings a core part of successful companies marketing strategy.

Here are the common objections companies use explaining away their need for branding, followed by why their positions are wrong:

  1. We don’t the have name brand equity of a Nike or Apple so it’s not important for our target market to recognize us. The problem with this thinking is that many of their competitors are establishing name-recognition with their market through strategic branding tactics. This is diminishing the “marketing power” of the non-branding company.
  2. Branding won’t bring in any clients or direct sales. Although branding has a lesser impact on direct sales than other forms of marketing, studies have shown that the more touchpoints a market is exposed to with consistent branding and messaging, the higher likelihood that all forms of marketing from that organization will perform better.
  3. We don’t have the marketing budget to spend. Branding can be the one of the least expensive forms of marketing. For example, a company can purchase 250 personalized ink pens for less than $100.
  4. Even if we did brand, we wouldn’t be able to measure its impact on our sales. Although this generally can’t be disputed, it’s important to understand that assigning sales to specific marketing initiatives can be tricky when companies advertise through multiple channels. Many times, customers will see your marketing message in more than one place before making a purchase decision.

Based on the size of your company, the competitiveness of your industry and the nature of your target customer, we recommend allocating between 12% and 21% of your marketing budget to branding. And of course, a great place to start is with promotional products like custom pens, pencils, mugs, backpacks and other gifts.

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