“The product doesn’t make the story, it complements the story.”. That’s the line that kept going through my head last night when I was thinking about successful brands and how it’s less about the features and benefits of the product or brand and more about the feeling it evokes from the customer.
The brands that I like and that I’m interested in are the ones who tap into my feelings and my right brain as opposed to my left brain. Whether it’s a cola or a shirt or a cell phone, they complement my life as opposed to driving it. Granted, I care about features and benefits, but in the end, it’s the feeling that the brand evokes within me that will convert me from a shopper into a buyer. And if the brand is really good at selling feelings as opposed to benefits, I will become a fan or evangelist of the brand.
Of course, in order for a brand to evoke feelings among consumers, it must take an active role in advertising and marketing. This could include radio commercials, print ads, billboards, and TV, but it's more effective and easier to influence a customer’s feelings through digital marketing, like social media, and customer relationship marketing programs. The brands that are great at building relationships and evoking passion among their consumers are the ones that spend time interacting with them online and offline. They are the brands that are able to turn their customers into fans and ultimately evangelists of their brand.
So the next time you are strategizing about your brand or product, don’t think about the benefits or what differentiates your product from your competitor. Instead, think about the feelings that the product or brand evokes from the consumer or the feelings that you want them to evoke. For instance, a Hershey's Kiss is not a piece of chocolate in a foil wrapper. There are actually dozens of brands of chocolates that you can find in a foil wrapper. In fact, you can probably find a better tasting chocolate in a foil wrapper, but a Hershey's Kiss is not about the foil wrapper or the taste of the chocolate. It's about the feelings that it evokes from someone unwrapping it and enjoying it.
A Hershey’s Kiss is like a kiss on the cheek from your grandmother; it’s a moment of happiness complete with a smile at the end of a long day of work; it’s a feeling that millions of us love and millions of us love to share with others. So what types of feelings does your brand evoke? Are you sharing this with your customers or are you just sharing the benefits and features of your product?