Category: Sales

Business Principle:
Selling the benefits: Function Vs Emotion


Understand why your customer purchases your product

The Issue

Our expert was instrumental in enabling his marketing services client to win a new global consumer brand client. The new client was, and still is, a leader in the board games market, you could say almost having a “Monopoly” on their market. The board game brand client was keen to pursue conventional marketing solutions, but our Expert was concerned that by pleasing the client in following their preferred marketing strategy, they could be failing their client by not using more effective, and innovative strategies that would drive much greater sales.

The Solution

Our Expert took advantage of an initial client meeting, where the “C suite” brand heads were present. The brand executives were asked to clarify what their business did to generate revenue.  Almost embarrassed by the basic nature of the question, the CEO responded that it was obvious that their business “sold board games, that were iconic and known throughout the world” and that is how their revenue was generated. Here our Expert responded that “he could not agree with the CEO’s answer”.  This response certainly captured the rooms attention, with many sharp intakes of breath!  How could a newly appointed supplier appear to be disagreeing with a new clients CEO……..  Our Expert quickly moved to defuse the situation, and at the same time deliver the message he had planned.

Our Expert continued “I believe that you although you do outwardly sell iconic family board games, you are really selling the promise of loving, quality time between a parent and their most cherished objects in their lives – their children!  The board game is of course very relevant, but the card, the plastic and the metal items are props that enable the parent /child experience – a fundamental experience of human love and emotion – That is what you are selling, something far more important merely a board game”.    The message was very well received, and although the C suite executives had been aware of the human element related to the playing of their games, they had never before considered that the game play was not the real driver of their sales, but rather the human desires that were facilitated by the game play. Why was this an important message to deliver to the brand client? Because the following years marketing would be based around key imagery, that traditionally featured close photography of the actual games or game components. Instead our Expert proposed that imagery aimed at consumers should focus upon the human interaction and enjoyment whilst playing the board games – thus hitting the target consumer directly with the emotional trigger and reminding them of the promise of fun with their loved ones – far better than a close-up photo of a Car, Top Hat, Dog or a Battleship!

It is now common place to see the human “emotive” pleasure targeted, rather than function – viewing most commercials now for furniture, beds, cars – they will now focus upon the “user joy or user experience, and not the non-emotive functionality of the product.

Always look beyond the obvious, as to why humans really desire your product, as it will normally be related to some fundamental human emotional needs.  The same marketing and sales process can be applied to B2B markets as well, but this does require a good understanding of business behavior, so that the real “business emotion” can be found and targeted.

Could your own part time expert get you to your own Mayfair and Park Lane?  Call us today to discuss how we can help boost your sales.