Rock ‘n’ rollers, petrol heads, cigar smokers, marathon runners, whiskey lovers.
The unique habits, styles, behaviours and experiences that make one company’s customers different from another can be a powerful sales tool in market places swamped with indistinguishable product features and benefits.
Rather than focusing on what makes a product different, the focus on what makes the customer different is a strategy that speaks directly to the values and philosophies of an individual or select group.
To the company, this is about cementing its relationship with a loyal audience as much as selling to a new one. To the customer, the emotional pull is one of identity and aspiration.
Take mods and Fred Perry. A staple of the mod wardrobe since the 1960s, Fred Perry is a byword for mod culture. This is a mutual-love relationship where both company and customer are reliant on one another. Mods wouldn’t be mods without Fred Perry, and Fred Perry wouldn’t be Fred Perry without the mods.
To this end, Fred Perry frequently celebrates its unique audience with communications featuring beautiful black and white photos of everyday mods. This makes the guys and girls with their short, sharp haircuts, drainpipe jeans and Fred Perry polo shirts look like timeless streetwear icons.
At KHWS, we use nine key sales triggers to support our Brand Commerce model. One of these sales triggers is ‘the obvious truth’, whereby a company can legitimately utilise a widely accepted view about itself because the audience is seeking confirmation in that belief.
In the case of Fred Perry, it explicitly plays on its well-known relationship with mod tradition in the understanding that certain groups of people are willing to pay a premium to share in that lifestyle – whether that’s the specific sub culture already embracing it, or a wider, more mainstream audience that sees the mod identity as something to aspire to.
The Kinks’ Ray Davies once wrote, “I’m not like everybody else.” And when marketing a product without a unique selling point, it can make sense to look at what it is that makes the audience, not the product, different to everybody else in the market.22.03.17 Archive