Steve Jobs famously said that the iPhone was not a product, it was a lifestyle. Apple marketing went on to sell the idea of owning an iPhone and living the iPhone lifestyle. It was a product that became more than a phone: It became a statement, about those who owned it.
Sell ideas and capture imagination
Over and over, we see that the most successful people in business focus on selling the idea, rather than the product or service.
- The most successful alcohol brands do not sell you booze. They sell the idea of the fun lifestyle, which they have attached to booze.
- The most successful restaurants do not sell food. They sell the idea of enjoying a wonderful, memorable, culinary experience.
- The most successful coffee shops do not sell hot beverages. They sell the idea of being part of the cool, coffee shop tribe.
- Switching from selling products / services, to selling ideas
What is the idea behind the products or services you provide? If you save people money, save people time or make people more productive etc., that’s what you need to market to them.
For example, if you sell accountancy services, don’t just list the services you provide and tell them how much you care, then quote a fee. No! Instead, sell the idea of how it feels to know your financial situation is being looked after by experts, who will ensure you never waste a penny. Sell them peace of mind, not features.
In short: Spend some time thinking about the benefits of what you provide. Then, consider marketing the idea behind those benefits – rather than marketing the core product or service itself.