Because you spend so much time in your head solving the customer problem using technology, when someone asks you what your product or service is, you will probably describe it in terms of features and functionality. When you try to write marketing copy, you usually do the same.
It seems logical, and therefore it is a mistake.
Marketing (and sales) requires an appeal to the emotional part of the customer’s brain, rather than the rational part.
After all, if your product or service is functionally adequate, is priced right, and the customer knows about it, they will definitely buy it – no marketing is needed, all it takes is a great customer experience and support.
Perhaps a practical example will illustrate this best.
Think of all the many car brands that offer a compact four-door car. Now think of the huge price difference between a compact four-door car that carries, say, Hyundai, and one from, say, Mercedes Benz.
Over a long list of features, the Merc’s features are better. Still, both cars fit about the same number of people and bags, both have air conditioning and a sound system, and both get you from one set of lights to another in about the same amount of time. Yet one costs at least four times as much as the other.
Buyers who choose a compact four-door car based on functionality and price should choose a cheaper brand than Mercedes Benz every time, and yet Mercedes Benz still sells many compact four-door cars every year.
Those Mercedes Benz owners have a range of emotions associated with Mercedes Benz.
For most of them, those emotions were there before they even drove a Mercedes Benz. Owning a Merc makes them feel different about who they are. How did those emotions get there? Smart marketing puts them there.
When writing your startup’s first slogan, don’t write about its features and functionality. Don’t write about what it does. If you have competitors, their competing product does what your product does, or almost enough.
Coke’s slogan isn’t “carbonated water with caramel, acidity, sugar and caffeine” – it’s “Taste the Feeling” and previous slogans have included “Coke Adds Life”, “The Break That Refreshes” and “Open Happiness” .
Think less about what your product is; think more about how it will make your customer feel.
Do you make them feel safe? Successful? Sexy? Saturated? Super powerful? Smart?