What Are You Selling
All businesses sell something. Whether it is a product, service, or a combination of both, a business has to convince a target audience to buy. Otherwise, the business will no longer exist. However, there is a caveat to this statement, which is based on the market structure of a business: pure competition, monopolistic, oligopoly, or monopoly.
This article looks at businesses that play in a pure competitive environment, where no one seller has significant influence over price; there are many small players; and scarcity does not exist—there is an abundance of available resources and alternatives for the buyer. The environment is highly competitive and buyers can negotiate on price—a leave-it or take-it decision (LI-TI).
Good, bad, or indifferent, the pure competition requires a cleaver strategy. The buyer in this market structure will, most often, negotiate on price. But, with a clear understanding of brand psychology, you can communicate a value proposition from a position of superiority and excel beyond your competitors.
In a world where a lasting competitive advantage is rare, Rhetoric Writing, the way language is used to express, inform, and persuade others, must be the foundation for any brand and MarComm portfolio.
Most of us are aware that content is very important in terms of SEO and Website Rankings. When I was in college, I had to visit the library to conduct research in order to complete assignments; I brought a roll of dimes for the copy machine. In fact, I had to visit different libraries if I wanted to broaden my access and selection of books and periodicals. It was time consuming and expensive (for a college student).
Today, there is an abundance of data and information (content) on the Internet in a variety of formats and platforms—the Big Data revolution, described as the Five Vs of volume, variety, velocity, veracity, and value, has caused turbulence in many markets and industries. Businesses that were once stable and predictable are fading in the background of data and information (D&I).
Today, people consume more D&I than products; in fact, consumers will purchase products and services based on location and value of D&I; this is why Copywriting and Digital Marketing Tactics are so important. The 5P's of product, price, place, position, and promotion must be linked to Rhetoric Writing methods—the ability and skill to use language to express, inform, and persuade your target audience.
The following business model explains the relationship:
A well crafted brand and sales strategy should include all three Rhetoric Appeals of ethics, emotion, and logic. In fact, most businesses already apply the three appeals, such as to mission and vision statements, ethics and corporate conduct policies, and to the employee handbook. Authors of such documents do not know they are using the Rhetoric Appeals as a science or a writing guide, since the subject is usually not taught in a business degree core curriculum.
At any rate, and much more interesting, when we apply the three appeals in a specific sequence to design an advertisement, for example, they can move your target audience with such purpose and meaning, they will choose and decide to purchase from your company, right then and now!
Unfortunately, however, many businesses have not discovered Rhetoric Writing for sales and selling applications. They continue to use the same-old, outdated methods such as solution-selling, consultative-selling, and many others. For example, sales teams spend many hours everyday to create and deliver the perfect proposal to a new prospect or customer. Their layout sequence of these RFPs is always the same—the usual format of:
(1) price, (2) lead-time, and (3) terms/conditions.
Using this format, it's no surprise that proposal win rates are in the single digits for many businesses. In fact, since most RFPs use this sequence method, the sales team and account mgrs will use the same 1-2-3 when out-in-the-field, engaging with prospects and customers—selling on price and delivery.
I use the term adverting to describe most forms of business communications because that's the objective. Isn't a mission statement a form of advertising—to inform? How about a RFP—to persuade. What about a YouTube video—to express. How about a tattoo? Isn't this a form of advertising using one or more of the three appeals? Advertising seeks something in return.
When we approach communications using this view, to advertise, it is easier to understand the motives [three appeals] behind mediums and copywriting, such as PPC and remarketing ads (behavioral retargeting). With this in mind, we can use the following formula to design an ad or create a brand:
Communications = Three Appeals + Aim | Purpose + Advertising Mediums
Brand = Three Appeals + Aim | Purpose + Advertising Mediums
Your aim is your target audience and message, and your purpose (or motive) is to influence and persuade others to spend their money on your product, services, or business—prevent others from going to your competitors. Simply stated: A restaurant's job is to stop people from making supper. A pizza delivery service is to stop people from going to restaurants. A pub's goal is to prevent people from buying liquor at a store.
6 Statements of Well-crafted Brands
1. A well-crafted brand is to help consumers sort-out the good from the not-so-good—best | worst.
2. The purpose of a well-crafted brand is to navigate and provide direction.
3. All brands have a motive and is based on copywriting from the three appeals.
4. Consumers buy products based solely on a companys' ethical brand image.
5. The most successful brands create positive experiences.
6. Well-crafted brands create loyalty.
all brands have a motive
The most successful brands create positive experiences from a company's product or service, or a combination of both. A few decades ago, when social media platform where an idea, corporate brands were designed and deployed using traditional marketing methods such as television, direct mail, and print. It seemed so simple then. Today, digital technologies have created many new channels to reach consumers, and as a result, the buyer has more choices. This is why it is so important to invest in a brand strategy that attracts a specific audience on the three appeals. Creating PPC ads or a video campaign just to gain awareness without a brand strategy is a waste of financial resources.
Two important questions to ask are:
When people engage with your products, services, or company:
What kind of experience do you wish to create?
Will people share the experience with others?