The Marketing Word | Differentiation Marketing

When a Benefit is NOT a Benefit

I was behind a mattress company truck on the highway the other day and their slogan, written across the side of the truck was “Number one in customer satisfaction.”
On the surface, that sounds pretty good. Reassuring to a certain extent. And then I thought about it…

Far be it from me to be harsh… ok. Stop snickering, pick yourself up from the floor and keep reading! As I was saying, far be it from me to be harsh, but I don’t really care if the company is number one in customer satisfaction. I want to make sure I am satisfied. I mean really, if everyone else is enjoying their meal but yours has a cigarette butt sitting in the middle of it, do you really feel good that everybody else is happy??? See. It’s not just me.

You know what I’d rather see? A picture of a manager and a crew delivering a new mattress to a house in the dead of night with the message: “We don’t sleep until you sleep.” Or “If you’re not satisfied, we don’t sleep.” Heck, if I’m going to suffer because of shoddy workmanship, I want the company to suffer too.

How not to “tweet”:A judge running for reelection put this one out and it somehow caught my eye amid all the clutter on my “twit-stream”. (Don’t ask.)

@Judgesoandso: Join mailing list to receive information about re-election campaign, learn how you can volunteer! http://idiotslink

Oh Joy! Be still my beating heart! I can help this guy get a great paying job and not get paid myself? Where do I sign up? Well, not with the link which dropped me on his FaceBook page. If I didn’t have a FaceBook account, I wouldn’t have access to the information to volunteer. As it stood, I didn’t even have the inclination to sign into FaceBook and investigate further.

Not that I suspect he is a self-centered flaming jerk, because really, he looked like a nice guy, but let’s just say that he wasn’t aware of the necessity of benefit-driven marketing. Granted, it’s hard to work an entire political platform into 140 characters, but when you are going into a field which pretty much allows you to lie and lie big, why not take advantage of that leeway? How about “Volunteer for my re-election campaign and I’ll wipe out your first three speeding tickets. Sign up here.” Now that’s a benefit.

OK. So maybe that’s a little far-fetched but you see where I’m going with this. So how about “It’s time Joe Average got a fair shake in the legal system. Help make justice better for you.” A little more reason to help this guy get re-elected.

My point? People buy something or do something when it is to their advantage to do so. What YOU consider a benefit may not be what THEY consider a benefit. You need to really think about what your customer needs and wants and be able to present yourself in such a way that you bring value to them. A benefit isn’t a benefit when it doesn’t benefit the end user. Wasn’t that fun?

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1 comment

  • Tara Jacobsen - Marketing Artfully · 03/12/2010 at 3:36 am

    From one kind and gentle lady to another (snort snort), most people who are selling their product or service REALLY do believe that it will help the entire population. That is a good thing. The bad thing is that most of the time they are deep in it and can not see how self serving their marketing comes off. I truly believe that if you show people how your product can benefit them, they will buy. If you try to explain how wonderful it is they will not buy.

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