COMMENTARY
2:28 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

To Sell The Solution, First Brand The Problem

Every sales person knows that to make a sale, there must be a need, a perceived need, or a desire. If you’re selling a solution, there must be a problem, and the buyer must be aware of the problem.

The quickest way to make potential customers aware of a problem is to brand the problem. Turn the problem into a brand. That’s what Lifebuoy Soap did 75 years ago.

Before deodorants and anti-antiperspirants came along, Lifebuoy was the first product to make people aware that, when they sweat, they smell bad. Lifebuoy labeled the problem simply “body odor.” Then they literally branded body odor by turning it into “B.O.” It was before TV, so they advertised “B.O.” heavily on radio with a fog-horn, sounding, “B-O.” It was a huge success, becoming part of the vernacular.

Nobody ever sold much to men when they were referred to as impotent. Today’s branding of “Low-T” and “E.D.” has turned erectile dysfunction and impotence into a huge industry. When my second grade teacher said I didn’t pay attention, it didn’t sell anything. Since they’ve successfully branded ADD – attention deficit disorder – they’ve sold millions of consults and pills.

If you want to sell a branded product or cure, you’ll be a lot more successful once you brand the problem or the disease.

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