Moving beyond product features and benefits in brand messaging
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of a current article from the blog of Dave Wendland, VP, strategic relations at Hamacher Resource Group. The article first appeared on Forbes.com.
We’ve all heard late-night advertisements touting amazing product features: “It slices! It dices! But wait — there’s more!” For those of us old enough to remember Ronald M. Popeil, who started pitching products on infomercials in the late 1950s, I imagine we would agree that the same technique may not be quite as popular today given the rise of consumerism.
Across today’s competitive battlefield — especially amid the pandemic, when speed and convenience have become necessities — a litany of features alone isn’t likely to convince consumers to purchase a particular item.
So how are shoppers navigating their sea of choices and determining which products to bring into their homes? I believe there are two key factors: the brand’s promise and its attributes.
Identifying the true nature of a brand’s promise is essential in creating and promoting its “essence.” A brand’s essence is intangible, unique and unwavering. It may conjure up feelings of self-worth, confidence, serenity or other aspirational emotions. Such emotional marketing helps brands stand apart and compete, and it demonstrates their values and commitment. Ultimately, a brand must be able to tell a story.
The second key factor in a brand’s success is its attributes. Attributes are not features. Instead, attributes identify the unique traits of the brand in the market and in the minds of the customers (its physical form, character and personality). Features are most often descriptors — they define what the product is.
More and more shoppers are searching to discover and support brands whose core attributes align with their values, personal aspirations and needs.
Here are five critically important elements to consider when developing a brand strategy in today’s market:
- Audience knowledge: Who will be the key (narrow) target?
- Brand identity: What is its personality? What is its persona?
- Key differentiators: How does this brand stand apart in the market?
- Market messaging: Is the main theme consistent and relatable?
- Media choices: Where will the message resonate most? Don’t forget about social media.
- Moving Beyond Product Features And Benefits In Brand Messaging – Forbes
- What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest Kindle Edition – Denise Lee Yohn
- Aspirational Consumers: Why they Matter and What Brands Should Know – GlobalWebIndex
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Has the coronavirus crisis increased or decreased the importance of what a brand stands for and how its attributes align with expectations? What’s the secret to conveying a brand’s promise and its attributes in messaging?