Choice is an interesting concept.
In the West, having choices is fundamental to our way of seeing the world. But as psychologists will tell you, too much choice can cause anxiety, self-doubt and self-recrimination (for example: oh no, their desert looks nicer than mine, I should have chosen differently).
So we all navigate the plethora of choices we face by a) narrowing down and only looking at options that align with specific needs and views, or b) sticking with what we know.
Which means that if you’re about to launch a new product or service – and in doing so, present all the people who are active in your marketplace with another choice – you need to tell a clear and consistent story about what makes it special.
Because ultimately, you need all the specific types of people that could buy your product, to know exactly the same story about it.
Decide what messages you want to hang your hat on
If your new product is a summer duvet – and you know you have competitors who are already telling a story about being “light” – you may decide that “cool and cosy” is what you want to be known for.
So you use the line “cool and cosy” over and over. You may even register Cool ’n Cosy as a trademark. And you will imply “cool” and “cosy” in all of your communications.
In other words, at top level, you will say – or imply – the same things about your product over and over again.
You do it because it helps your audiences form strong associations with and views about your brand. And this in turn helps them to be able to choose you from the many, many options available. The repetition of this key messaging helps you carve out your own space in the marketplace – and keep you front of your ideal customers’ minds.
Repeat it, consistently
Strong, successful brands all do this. If you think Apple, you’re likely to think “cool”. If you think RyanAir, you’re likely to think “cheap”. If you think Disney, you’re likely to think, “magical” – particularly if you’re in the right target market for these brands.
These associations didn’t get there by accident. They came about because these brands convey a consistent story and messages about the kinds of organisations they are and what you’ll get from buying into them.
When you know your audiences well enough, you can segment and provide additional – yet still consistent – messaging for each type of customer.
So for night workers, Cool ’n Cosy might go on to talk about “the only choice when you absolutely have to sleep during the day”. For parents, Cool ’n Cosy might go on to convey “The best way to get your kids to sleep this summer”.
Remember, you can’t say everything
As the developer of Cool ’n Cosy, you may know that your duvet is capable of much more than being just cool and cosy. So there could be a temptation to say:
It’s cool, it’s cosy, it’s lightweight, it’s eco, it’s easy wash, it’s easy to store, it’s long-lasting, it’s hypo-allergenic, it’s made with revolutionary micro-fibres, it’s made in the UK…
Your list could be huge – and in fact, so could the list for practically every product on the market.
But here’s the thing, if you try to say everything, you’re not helping your potential customer make a choice. You’re simply sounding indistinct, unmemorable and easy to ignore. And if someone does happen to buy your duvet, without strong messaging they’ll make up their own version of why the duvet is good, and might tell their friends: “It’s OK. It was a bit expensive but I’m sure we could throw a blanket over it in the winter.”
This is not what fame and high demand is made of.
Make the choice clear and easy
What you want is a situation where your customer tells friends: “I have just bought the best duvet. It keeps you cool AND cosy. It was 30℃ in the shade and I had the best night’s sleep…”
By consistently sticking to “cool” and “cosy” as key messages, you’re allowing your customer to choose you easily. You’re allowing them to evaluate their choice against obvious criteria and promises: I was indeed cool AND cosy (and all the extras seem like a bonus and an even stronger validation of a choice well made). You’re also giving them an easy way to talk about your offer to their friends.
This is what fame is made of. Going on and on and on. Conveying the same messages over and over and over. And having the confidence to put everything else on the back seat.
If you want a hand with your messaging and making your brand famous, give us a call. You can find out more about creating messaging frameworks here.