The nice thing about products is that people can hold them, feel them, wear them, throw them – you get the idea – it’s a product. The perceived quality (value, durability, etc.) of your product is validated, or refuted, simply because someone can engage multiple senses and interact with something physical. Our own experiences with products help develop strong feelings, even emotions, about them, but savvy marketers understand that something out there helps transcend personal experience – brand.
Give it a try:
- BMW vs. Ford
- Bentley vs. BMW
- Coke vs. Shasta
- Tiffany & Co. vs. Kay Jewelers
- North Face vs. Lands’ End
- Walmart vs. Target
- Wegmans vs. any other grocery store on earth (If you don’t know, find a Wegmans and you’ll know!)
Some of those, at least, elicit images based on your own experience. You remember its touch, its look, its smell. The product itself helps to convey a significant message for the company and its position in the market. However, some of those are brands that you may not have dealt with, and still, you may have arrived at decisions about their products. Why? Because someone told you so.
Opinions abound! Thanks in great part to social media, your trusted friends carry the flags of their favorite brands and influence, well, you! The key here is that endorsement doesn’t come from the company. I travel a good deal in my consulting work and see this in almost every city and town in America: “Bob’s World-Famous Burgers” or “Best Service in Town” or “(insert your wireless carrier here) has the Nation’s Fastest 2,3,4 G Network” and each time I see that, I think – “sure you do.” Hyperbole abound!
For service companies, it’s even worse. Without a product to touch, feel, smell, hear, or taste, all you have is your reputation. Reputation – The beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something. Those beliefs and opinions are often formed based on what others say about you, and sometimes in response to what you say about yourself.
Get rid of the hyperbole in your outbound messaging. Don’t say that you’re the best – just go out and be the best. Let others champion your brand by delivering your best at all customer touch points, because self-praise is no praise at all.