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Can Consumers Switch From the 'What's In It For Me' Mentality?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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If you are among our loyal readership, you are well aware that we are quite quick to deny the consumer of being right. We strip that privileged status from them because, frankly, data suggests that many of them actually have no idea what they truly want.

But adages like "the customer is always right" and "a sale is a sale" or even "always be closing" continue to dominate our industry. Why? Because we and our colleagues have learned, and learned quite well, that stroking the consumer's ego is the way to getting money,

Consumers continually approach situations with the question "what's in it for me?" instead of asking first if the good or service is actually needed, and then, how the transaction can leave the consumer in a better state than when the product or service found them.

As we continue to ponder this question, we see that the question itself is flawed. The deal or transaction itself could be a very good deal. Remember, consumers are very good at comparing apples to apples. But down the road, comparing apples and pineapples, the outcome doesn't seem related.

An article highlighted this switch in thought — from functionality of the product to the enhancement of one's life — with Whirlpool's newest campaign in mind: "Every day, care."

First, let's watch the ad below.

You see the shift. Instead of Whirlpool talking about how awesomely their appliances work, they are talking about how the machines work in order to prove how much somebody cares about their family.

Will consumers catch on? Will consumers appreciate this kind of highbrow advertising? It remains to be seen. But we hope so. That ad wasn't half bad.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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