Do You Deliver on the Promise of Your Packaging?

by Jennifer Good | September 26th, 2012 5:05 AM | No Comments

Down Trend in Sales

I’ve found the funniest and revealing life lessons happen when you let the little things in life inspire you. For me, one such revelation occurred this weekend. I have four of your typical Chihuahuas. The youngest considers herself the “queen” of the house, and also happens to be the cutest of the group. When someone visits, it’s a natural first reaction to try and pet her and “make friends” with her first. She, however, takes exception to this and will let the person know quite vocally and aggressively that they’ve intruded into her domain. This instantly kills her potential of being a guest’s favorite dog, and they shift their attention to one of the others.

As I was watching this interaction over and over again this weekend, I noticed a HUGE business correlation. I began thinking how many times I have been “sold” by the package, the idea of the service or even the copy, but was then completely turned off once I got to know the product or brand better. The source of my turn off has been anything from the call to action being too aggressive to the salesperson incessantly talking about something I couldn’t care less about. My revelation reminded me of how important it is for your branding and message to be cohesive and consistent throughout the entire user experience. If not, you could be dramatically losing unnecessary sales.

If It Looks Like X, It Should Walk, Talk, & Be X

When it comes down to it, your entire sales experience needs to toe the line with your personal branding message from initial interest to closing. Here are a few ways companies are failing in this area and what you can do to avoid these breaks in branding.

Putting a product to market that looks visually appealing and then is incredibly difficult to use.
This especially annoys me. I’m led to purchase through a deceptive concept that thoughtful care and consideration has been put into the design of the product, only to find that the thoughtfulness ceased after concept and design. It may get the company higher than average initial sales, but they lose out in the long run with a bad reputation for building beautiful crap. Don’t fall into this trap – put care into the thought and design of every component of your product, from instructions to FAQs. If in doubt, do the Mom-Test. If your mother can’t figure it out without your help, chances are neither can anyone else.

Letting beauty trump function.
A website could be the most breathtaking piece of art ever created, but if a visitor isn’t clear about what they are supposed to do there, they’ll eventually leave and completely forget about the site. All your effort and energy is wasted. If a person took half of that time solidifying and developing their true end result, and how to guide a user to this desired result, they’d more than double the effects of their efforts. Make sure your “art” has a purpose. Art’s true mission is to communicate something. What is your product, website or service communicating to others?

Continuing to sell, even after a sale has been made.
If you sold a customer on a product, the last thing you want to do is to keep selling them on the same product. However, all over the web are prime examples of continuous sales letters. These sales letters are created to generate intense interest and then keep you hooked as you read the ENTIRE page of sales copy. Personally, they drive me crazy. I know if I want something fairly quickly and if you have a product worth a damn, you shouldn’t need 1,000 words to explain why I need to buy it. Just tell me how much is it, how I can get it, give me a few testimonials and if possible a few visual samples of what I’ll be getting. If you’re really nice, give me a money-back guarantee so I’m not overly concerned if I don’t like it. Even better, make it easy and clear to actually buy your product. Don’t wait until the bottom of a 1,000 page letter to give me a link to click on.

Not listening or reading the signs of your customer.
Furniture and car sales people fall into this category for me. It never seems to fail that the salesperson is on auto-pilot and drones on about their family stories, how they are a great salesperson or endless facts about the product. For some people, that may be just what they needed to hear, however, an important rule of sales is to always listen and pay attention to the signals your customer is sending you. In the online world, you can practice this by paying attention to comments, emails and suggestions you receive. A weekly or even daily inspection of your stats will give you an idea of what pages or content are resonating with your viewers. This way, you can tailor the experience for your users and get more positive results.

Where have you seen a mismatch between branding and product?
What methods would you recommend or have seen that would create a more cohesive overall experience?

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