Why advertise the brand when I need leads?

You have to sell stuff to keep your doors open. A lot of stuff. Every month you have to make a lot of sales just to break even. That means you need leads, you need a constant flow of prospective customers. So the question you ask yourself is: “Why advertise my brand, when I need leads?”

For reference, see: What is a brand?

I haven’t met many entrepreneurs that just want to be known for selling stuff. Most want to believe they have a business that means something. If their business went away, they hope customers would miss it. However, that’s rarely the way these entrepreneurs advertise the business. Why? Because they need to sell stuff. They need leads. And in the mind of the entrepreneur, when you need to sell a lot of stuff, it means you need to sell on price. But does it really?

Think of it from the customers’ perspective. What do they see? Advertising that consists of three elements: product, price, service. “I have this quality product, at this awesome price, and I deliver it with great customer service.” This is the message prospective customers see all the time, every day. To them, it’s all the same. To them, all businesses are the same. Which should they choose? It doesn’t matter. They just pick a couple, maybe the most visible options, and compare prices. Give that argument, and the race for customers: Why advertise the brand, when you need leads?

The reason you should advertise your brand is precisely because everyone else is going with product, price, service. When the customer decides they want to buy the product you sell, they collect purchase options. As mentioned above, everything looks the same to them. But what if you added something to your advertising? Your brand. Now the customer has their purchase options, including yours, on the table in front of them. Everyone else is just product, price, service: the same thing. But  you are different, you are a brand. Your business has meaning. So the real decision for the customer is: Your business or everyone else?

If you consistently advertise your brand’s promise and meaning, you begin to have meaning. You build up emotional equity in the minds of people you have never met before, but someday might be your customers. And when it comes time to make a decision for your product, that matters.

Almost all businesses sell a commodity product. Someone, somewhere, sells what you sell, at a lower price, and probably right down the street. To customers, it’s all the same. Unless you have meaning. And that means advertising your brand.

Are you same thing as your competition? How can you change your advertising to include your brand?

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