“Overcome objections until you get your “’Yes.’”
“Always Be Closing (ABC).”
“Never take “No” for an answer.”
These sales maxims that date back decades are the root cause of why many businesses are struggling with growth. Hard sell marketing campaigns based on these ideas have been running for so long that consumers are simply tuning them out like so much white noise. Businesses have essentially turned marketing into a steep uphill battle trying to hard-sell their way into buyers’ wallets instead of working to win them over with relationship based methods.
Today, marketing as much, if not more, about brand building as much as it is about sales. Businesses that want to grow need to adapt and change from the “Marketing Mindset” to the “Brand Mindset” to capture more of a customer’s total lifetime value rather than quick sales. This is even more important during times of upheaval. People turn toward businesses they can trust. Those with a steady voice and a clear path forward despite the chaos.
Adopting a “Brand Mindset” is not the “magic bullet” that will miraculously increase your growth, but it has been proven to be far more effective in the long term. To orchestrate this necessary change effectively, your organization needs to understand how the Marketing Mindset developed and became less effective. Moreover, you need to understand how to adopt the “Brand Mindset” without falling prey to the drawbacks.
How did the Marketing “Mindset Develop”?
The evolution of the “Marketing Mindset” has its history in playing the sales numbers game. The focus on this commodity mindset dates back to the mid-20th century when moving units was the primary focus of most business. Microwaves, cars, refrigerators, advertising space: the only thing that mattered was hitting quotas and getting products on the market.
It worked well, and during that era many corporations established themselves on sales numbers and quality products alone. Everyone was buying their products, so they must be the superior brand, right? Most consumers didn’t question it, and they bought the same brands because they always had and there weren’t many other options, but the proof in the pudding quickly became the Achilles heel of the marking era. No self-fulfilling prophesy can last forever. The late 1980’s and early 1990’s saw the downside of focusing solely on sales numbers over the brand as new options emerged.
The Downside of the “Marketing Mindset”
As time passed, new businesses entered the market and began to draw customers away from established brands focused on hitting their numbers. This paradigm shift in consumer options meant that hitting sales numbers was far more difficult as established businesses now had to compete for consumer attention. Even with more existing sales channels, manufacturing power and faster distribution, they were now fighting a losing battle to maintain market share dominance, especially against an expanding “bricks and clicks” environment that matured into the late 1990’s.
The Rise and Success of the “Brand Mindset”
Now that consumers had more choices, marketing and sales needed a different approach. Rather than focusing on getting the “yes” from buyers, they had to completely remodel how they presented their products and services. Thus, the “Brand Mindset” was born, and forward-thinking businesses shifted their focus from hitting sales numbers to building brand loyalty. In reality, this concept grew and expanded over a 20 year or more period, but once brand models matured, the approach has become a primary customer facing and even B2B approach to marketing. Now businesses weren’t selling a product or service, they were selling a lifestyle. What brand you chose gave you social status and met emotional as well as practical needs.
The “Brand Mindset” functioned (and functioned well) on the assumption that when you build a quality product and make it integral to a desirable lifestyle, you don’t need to worry about sales numbers. Marketing focuses on building a relationship with buyers that generates internal motivation for them to do business again and again. Instead of selling customers through aggressive marketing campaigns, efforts shifted to welcoming them to the family. Building a sense of community among consumers drives brand loyalty. Instead of buyers, brands cultivated fans who supported them like they would any other part of their community and daily lives. Like all initiatives in business, however, it did not come without costs.
Drawbacks of the “Brand Mindset”
The primary downside to adopting the “Brand Mindset” is the financial cost necessary to cut through all the existing marketing “noise.” Consumers know when they’re being marketed to, and they easily tune out your brand’s message and image through the daily bombardment of advertising.
Brand building means hiring the best and brightest to make your vision into reality. To build that brand lifestyle, you need visionaries who understand what your target consumer market wants and needs. You need brand representatives who attract the loyal customers you need to succeed. Any business seeking to establish a brand like that needs to be prepared to invest heavily in brand building, all with the understanding that earning an ROI can take time.
Finding A Solution: The Combination Strategy
There is a middle ground to be achieved with both “Marketing Mindset” and “Brand Mindset.” If you take the best of both approaches, you can effectively reach your target consumers and keep them coming back for more year after year.
Here at Green Vine Marketing, we apply the drive of the “Marketing Mindset” with the wisdom of the “Brand Mindset.” We develop visually compelling branded websites for our clients, position their products and services through more traditional marketing strategies like SEO, content marketing and eCommerce, and expand their brand presence via social media.
Contact Green Vine Marketing today to learn more about integrated marketing strategies that build your presence and bring customers to you.