Five Things Toddlers Can Teach You About Marketing
A few years ago, Brian Miller interrupted his career as a creative director to work freelance while being a stay-at-home dad. It turned out to be a surprisingly creative period for him, as he earned more marketing awards during that time than any other stint of his career.
"Kids are a tough crowd; they raised my game," Miller says in an article for Fast Company.
Miller says dealing with his kids taught him the following five lessons about marketing:
1. Emotional benefits sell better than rational ones. Don't try to sell your kids on spinach-filled ravioli with "eat it because it's good for you." Instead, embrace the surprise factor of ravioli. Creating a feeling about something works better than facts. Think "pasta presents."
2. Don't ask your consumers whether they want something new. Humans generally embrace familiarity, so if you want to get your kids to watch something other than Teletubbies (or get a consumer to embrace an updated product) sometimes you have to push a new idea on them. Just make sure it's instantly gratifying.
3. Bonuses are better than bribes. Bribing your kids to do something doesn't encourage them to embrace it; it encourages them to get the bribe. In the same way, buying consumer loyalty with promotions doesn't work as well as building it with bonuses, rewards, or add-ons.
4. Nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising. Promising your kids that an art museum is going to be better than "Star Wars" will, more than likely, backfire. Don't make advertising promises that your products can't deliver.
5. Move beyond functional equivalence. Everybody is familiar with the moment where a kid gets a fabulous new toy, but is fascinated with the box instead. When you're a kid, everything is a toy. That's equivalent to the idea that in today's developed world many products are similar in quality. So marketers must orient products and services with better design, luxury cues, and superior service to stand out.
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