In the midst of this Great Depression II, cheery news can be hard to find and the newspapers don’t offer much to lighten my mood. But if you look really, really hard amongst the grim stuff, there are still reasons to celebrate and stories of people doing well.
A point very well made by Bill Bonner in Money Week is that it isn’t possible for everything to be going down. Thanks to Einstein and Newton, we know there are laws about such things. Alongside what’s going down, something must be going up as a point of reference otherwise everything would be standing still. And it never is.
It requires a modicum of self-discipline to resist the beautifully photographed goodies adorning the colour supplements and keep my credit card in my purse but I manage it, and my thoughts turn instead to what this all teaches me about marketing. If you offer a compelling story or gorgeous image, people will still buy even when hard up. Selling is a matter of creating desire and it would seem that there are 1,001 ways to make almost anything look appealing from a jar of Marmite (yuk) to a vitamin tablet (certainly not yum either) if you either photograph it prettily or offer the benefits to me in a way which resonates.
I really enjoy good marketing, even when I don’t buy. One of my nephews has recently started his career in advertising and a meeting with him prompted me to look at the way things are sold – from trailers, to billboards, teasers, tempters, samples, humour, branding, glamour, sex and to me the good stuff all creates desire, desire, desire. The feeling of “I want one of those” inevitably leads to a purchase if and when we choose to afford it, and sometimes even when we can’t.
Desire, once created, doesn’t go away – especially if you fan the flames, reminding me how much I want what you are offering. I won’t be satisfied until I have it and subliminally, if you get it right, I know that from the moment I first see it. I am hooked.
As small business owners peddling our wares, this is our job too – to lay out our store of goodies in a way which is attractive and offers a client or a customer a tempting opportunity to buy. Do you do that or are you a bit embarrassed about selling, a bit shame-faced about blowing your own trumpet? If so, here’s a thought. Have a good hard look at the marketing of what you love to buy yourself. Why do you make the buying and branded choices you do in a world overflowing with attractive options? Look especially at those items which are non-essential or even luxuries and examine your buying. It was pleasurable, wasn’t it?
How can we make it delightful for our clients to buy from us, be proud of what we offer, present it beautifully and make shopping easy and fun? Notice how people buying doesn’t necessarily involve you in selling, although it comes down to that same end result. Some things just walk off the shelves. It looks effortless but we all know the work which goes into striking it lucky.
In this sense only, money makes the world go around and there’s still plenty of room for us all to make more than enough to take care of ourselves and those we love by offering something attractive and sparkly to the market which buyers believe will be life-enhancing in even a small way, something which makes them go “I want one of those”.
Want. What a strange word, but what a strong tug. Speak to our emotions, how do we want to feel?