Here we’re going to look at customer-centric messaging and why that works better than any of the kind. The reason that I want to talk about this is because so many companies fall into this trap, they think, “Well, if only I can show the customer that we’re good enough. If only I can show them how my product or service is better than anyone else’s, then they’re going to buy from me.”
Unfortunately, I’d love that to be the case, but it’s not. Companies will always tend to focus on themselves and how they’re wonderful and expect the customer to come to them. What you’ve actually got to do in your messaging is go to your customer first.
So what we mean by that is that every time somebody buys something, they’re hoping that either it’s going to alleviate some kind of pain in their lives or it’s going to be able to enable them to have fulfilment in some respect that they’re not currently achieving.
Classic examples, if I’ve got a headache, I go and buy an aspirin to get rid of it. That’s physical pain. But suppose instead I go and buy a new lipstick because I feel like I need a little bit of a brighten up around the face. It’s not actually the lipstick that I’m buying, it’s how I feel about myself.
An example of this kind of customer-centric messaging. Imagine if I was selling Colgate and I said, “Colgate was the world’s first toothpaste in a collapsible tube introduced in 1896 in New York City. By 1999, it’d become the world’s leading brand.” Good for Colgate. I don’t want to put it in my mouth. Whereas leading with line like, “Whole mouth health.” Or, “Smile with strength.” You’re talking to me as a customer and what I’m able to achieve. You’re not saying how brilliant the toothpaste is. You’re saying what the toothpaste is going to enable me to do in my life.
Customer-centric messaging is all about putting yourself into your customer’s shoes. How do they feel? How can you make them feel? How do they want to feel? Really getting into that kind of emotional state. B2C brands, a generally a lot better at this than B2B brands because B2C brands really understand that they’re dealing with humans. B2B brands fall into this trap of thinking that they’re relating to a business.
They’re not. I mean, the person that they’re talking to works in a business and should in theory be acting in the interests of that business, but ultimately they’re still a human being. They still got their own emotional drivers and motivators that are going to have a far bigger impact on the purchase decision than anything that can be conveyed to be in the best interest of the business. Even if they’re acting in the best interest of the business, it’s only with a view to making themselves look good and effective in their role with a view to say getting a promotion or a pay rise.
So even if you’re B2B, you never lose sight of the fact that the customer that you’re selling to is still a human being. And therefore customer-centric messaging really ought to relate to the emotional state of that human being above the needs of the business.