Today’s lesson from the mentor was about crafting an experience. Very often in marketing, we need to craft an experience for our potential customers. But this process is tough. It is difficult. Because you have to craft this ‘imaginary’ experience in their minds, before they decide to even make a purchase, sometimes even before they engage with your brand. So how can we tackle this seemingly impossible task? Here’s what my mentor shared today:
Before we even get ‘down and dirty’ to the actual process of crafting an ideal experience for your customer, we must understand the foundations and reasons these experiences work. So here goes…
When it comes to attracting people to your service or product, it is important to understand 1 key question:
Why would they buy?
Off your mind, you would be able to come up with several reasons: “they have a need”, “they have a problem they want to solve”, “they want to be associated with the brand”, etc
These reasons are legit. And if you have noticed, they converge to a single point:
People make purchasing decisions to fulfill a need.
#1: What need does your product / service fulfill?
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If we were to look at Marslow’s Hierachy of Needs, we would have an overview of the different types of needs people are generally looking to fulfill.
The base of the pyramid is made up of survival needs (Physiological and Mental), followed by Social Needs and finally ‘Self-Improvement’ needs.
Using these, it is pretty easy to identify which gap your product or service could solve.
Following so far?
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Now here comes the problem:
Although Marslow’s hiearchy of needs provides some directions for marketers and business owners, it can be difficult to pin point a single need. Some of the needs that we fulfill can overlap across several levels.
For eg. Food – logically falls under ‘Physiological Needs’. But in an affluent society, ‘Physiological Need’ alone does not explain why consumers would choose to dine at a restaurant rather than eat at a fast food outlet or a food court.
Especially if we are fighting for consumers’ attention in a crowded world of competitors. How can we stand out by solving the same needs everyone else is providing?
Now here’s where the lesson truly started for me…
1 word to rule them all…
According to my mentor, all of these needs (not including the survival needs) are driven by a single adjective.
The word to rule them all is:
No matter the need you are trying to fulfill, there is an element of happiness involved if it get fulfilled.
#2: How does your product / service bring happiness?
So if its too difficult to pin point the exact need and too difficult to stand out merely by fulfilling needs, how can a business stand out from the rest of its industry?
By promising happiness through an ideal experience that can only be provided by its brand
But wait, there are different types of happiness too!
Different associations and different intensity of the happiness allows your brand to stand out from your competitors. Compare what it’s like stepping to MacDonalds as a kid vs what it’s like stepping into a regular food court. Compare what it’s like owning and holding an iPhone compared to what it’s like owning another smartphone. Compare what it’s like entering an LV flagship store as the doorman opens the door for you vs what its like stepping into a Crumpler store.
These different emotions we feel and most importantly remember, sets these brands apart from each other.
And these brands have crafted their experience to suit their target audience.
Likewise, you can do the same.
If you understand the key need of your target audience as well: Happiness. The exact type of happiness.
After boiling down to the essence of most needs we have pin-pointed happiness as the basic need we need to help our consumers fulfill.
We have also understood that there are different types and intensity of happiness.
And this, according to my mentor is the point that every meeting, discussion, brainstorm session, etc about ‘crafting an ideal experience’ should start at.
Do you buy this theory?
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