Once More, With Feeling

September 25, 2009
By Lisa Barone in Online Marketing

“Talent is bein’ able to sell what you’re feeling.”

Not surprisingly, the most successful blog posts on Outspoken are the ones where you connect with me emotionally. They’re the posts written in the heat of the moment, before I’ve had time to self-edit and tame them back. They are the five minute posts where I publish first, apologize later. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the Most Viewed Posts on the right. Or look at your own blog; you’ll likely notice the same thing.

I’m not like my two partners. Rae and Rhea live and die by the technical SEO and strategy of it all. I live and die by my heart, which I wear prominently on my sleeve. And sometimes I’m able to take you guys along for the ride. Elvis Presley said that talent is bein’ able to sell what you’re feeling.

It’s also the key to marketing.

Regardless of what you’re selling, your POD is the feeling you pass off to customers. It’s why I bought an overpriced pendant. It’s why people buy Apples – not for the system, but to feel superior to everyone else. People don’t really care about you. They care about how you make them feel. Marketing is no different than any other type of relationship. Your brand rests on your ability to transfer what you’re feeling over to your customer. It’s the aftertaste you leave.

That taste is your brand.

Marketing is historically cold. That means when companies are able to make us feel something, anything, we’re drawn to it. Whether it’s Burger King letting us “have it [our] way”, Staples telling us “that was easy” or Hallmark daring us to “send the very best”, we practically trip over ourselves to get close to it. To be associated with it. Oh, and “just do it”? That’s not a slogan – it’s a feeling. It’s the rush that passes through an athlete’s mind when they’re staring at the wrong end of a monstrous hill. It’s what gets them up that hill.

If you want people to care about you, your mission is to make them feel something.

  • Make them feel safe.
  • Wealthy.
  • Daring.
  • Green-conscious.
  • Smart.
  • Sexy.
  • Challenged.
  • Beautiful.
  • Nerdy.
  • Wanted.
  • Accomplished.
  • Adventurous.

That’s what this marketing thing is about – breaking through the shell people instinctively put up, shaking them, and making them feel how they’ve secretly been craving. That’s why social media and blogs and networking are effective. Because they’re about leaving the MBA speak at home and focusing on making your customers feel good/heard/right. It’s why teenagers join gangs.

We waste far too much time in business creating BS sales pitches designed to describe pointless features or list out made up reasons why we’re better than our competition. Truthfully, you probably aren’t that much better. But it doesn’t matter.

Next week, try it once more, with feeling. Because if you can sell that feeling, the rest of it is just details. People are going to be tripping over themselves to get to you. They’ll stand in line overnight to purchase a stupid phone. They’ll form a new religion around your name. They’ll stampede your store during Christmas, killing innocent patrons. They will 100 percent lose their shit in order to get close to you and feel something.

If you can incite that? That’s talent. It’s marketing.

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