This piece is by Tom Carr, one of Extole’s Customer Success professionals dedicated to making our clients build fruitful, enduring relationships with their customers.
You know the feeling: you’re eligible, ready to mingle, and you want to look good. Hair cut, some new clothes, a couple extra trips to the gym and probably a couple extra minutes in front of the mirror before you hit the clubs. Or the library or the grocery store. Wherever it is you think the future Mrs. or Mr. You is hanging out.
Brands take a similar approach when marketing themselves. In a sea of competitors, Brand X wants to stand out over Brand Y, just as you’d like Ms. Right to notice you over all the other schmoes. Like brands, how you differentiate yourself from your peers makes all the difference.
Sometimes this first interaction is at least partially a farce. The supermodel in the toothpaste ad has perfect, bright, white teeth, implying that once you start using the toothpaste, you too will blind people with your straight, pearly whites. That guy at the bar said the sweetest thing and bought you an expensive glass of wine, but he may have just Googled “things to say that girls think is sweet”, and that may have been his last dime going towards your fancy Chardonnay. Lots of good and lots of bad…but everyone says they are good. They might even believe it themselves!
We work with RipFire, a leader in workout/fitness supplements. RipFire is a model on how to groom for enduring relationships. It’s page is full of compelling visual content, and yet, does not mislead. When one of its Facebook fans asked “Does RipFire work?” on RipFire’s page, they replied candidly (paraphrase): “Yes it does… as long you also work out and eat right.” RipFire knows what it is: a great supplement, and not a magic potion. They’re willing to forego a few short-term sales by not claiming to be magic potion, because they know transparency will lead to more profitable, longer-lasting relationships.
The lesson being that, while it’s fairly obvious that you’ll want to put your best face forward to your potential new users, you must stay true to the strengths of your brand in a way that is authentic. Consumers are more than ever able to pinpoint false advertising given the increasing amount of tools they have in the information age. Just like the guy spending his last dime on your glass of wine, your brand’s affinity with a new customer will be limited if it’s more smoke than substance.
We recently ran a photo upload contest asking RipFire users to submit ’Ripped’ photos, with the winner receiving the opportunity to appear in a RipFire commercial. The submissions yielded some common questions: “Did you really get that buff just by taking RipFire? Does is work?” RipFire remained consistent: “yes, it works…..along with hard work and nutrition, RipFire supplements my fitness progression.” Of course, good-looking submissions were selected to support their brand, but never at the expense of telling the honest story about how those ripped customers got that way.
So comb your hair (but not for too long), wear the nicest suit you can find (but that you can also afford), say something sweet (but genuine and original) and beat your competition by putting your best foot forward.
Next we’ll be looking at how to get the digits: Distribution.