There are no facts, there are no best products. All that exists in the world of marketing are perceptions in the minds of the customer or prospect. The perception is the reality. All truth is relative. Relative to your mind or the mind of another human being. You believe what you want to believe. So, your job is not to sell logic, but to arouse emotions.
Don’t focus on the product
If the secret of success is getting into the prospects mind first, what strategies are most companies actually going with? The “Better product strategy”… trying to convince strictly through logic. This is where most people make their mistake in marketing by thinking you’re fighting a product battle rooted in reality. Marketing is a battle of perceptions, not products. Regardless of reality people perceive the first product in the mind as superior and to get there you have to trigger emotion.
Think this only applies to B-to-C, think again, and check out this article on how emotions and personal values come into play in the B-to-B space compared to business values. Why, you ask? “B2B purchasers potentially have a lot more to lose, such as their credibility, future budget allocation, and ultimately their job. Fear is the most powerful emotion coloring our decisions. ”
How to do it
Firstly, let’s try to avoid strictly trying to imply our product is better and lets not focus too much attention on features like: size, speed, power, etc. Instead, let’s focus on benefits received and find an emotional connection…how will it help them? Here are some strong buying emotions: pride of ownership, style, security, vanity, prestige or status, peer pressure, self-improvement, health, love of family. When there is a lack of difference between products, emotional factors are magnified, not diminished. People also need a rational excuse to justify their emotional decision, so give them one.
Some other things to consider
If you can involve the senses, go for it as this highly increases your chances. Consider what your price is saying… if you put the exact same product on the shelf side-by-side (say cheese) with different packaging and mark one $1.99 and another $7.99, the implication to the consumer is that the $7.99 one is much better… you may actually sell more of the more expensive one… it becomes more desirable as the price goes up. Also know that many customers make buying decisions based on secondhand perceptions… they base their decisions on someone else’s perception of reality… be aware and adapt.
Some great reads that I borrowed liberally from:
Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout
22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout
How to Master the Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins