You Sell a Necessity or a Luxury?
They Are Marketed Differently
by: Dr. Kevin Nunley
and services are a mixed bag. Some are downright necessities. If my toilet
explodes, I need a plumber. If your child wakes up with a high fever,
you need a doctor. Raging termites, aching teeth, and lawsuits also require
services that are necessities.
But most products
and services are more luxury than necessity. I often hire a young man
to mow my lawn. But if he's on vacation one week, I'll get my out-of-shape
self out there and push the mower myself.
Businesses buy out
of necessity 90 percent of the time. Consumers feel a purchase is a necessity
more like 30 percent of the time. In many cases consumers could do the
job themselves or make the product. More often they simply want to buy
to save time and trouble.
It's important to
think about how your product or service is considered by customers. Do
some consider you a necessity while others figure you provide a luxury?
This can figure in
how you promote your business and write your advertising. Necessities
should be promoted as an affordable solution to a pressing problem. Stress
your competence and caring.
Promote luxuries by
pointing out how much better the customer's life will be after she buys.
Stress how your product or service saves time, money, and hassle. There
is an old saying among advertising professionals: When your ad stresses
everything, you stress nothing.
Let me give you an
example. Lots of web sites list every single benefit their product or
service can give you. You're faced with a long, long list of bulleted
Kudos to these sites
for putting their features and benefits in easy-to-browse bullets. But
they would do far better to focus their sales copy on just a few key advantages.
People tend to skip
over copy that tries to stress every feature and aspect of a product.
Even worse, many people simply skip over copy that tries to cram in too
Make a list of the
top three things about your product or service that seem to impress customers
Create a headline
for your copy that extols the virtues of one of your advantages. Then
have your copy introduce the other two points. This keeps your sales copy
from becoming overburdening with too much for busy customers to think
Of course, many serious
prospects want all the information they can get. Save your complete list
of features and benefits for a second all-you-can-read page.
Stressing the main
points and advantages of your product works well on your web page, but
it's a great way to structure a radio or televion commercial, too.
Radio and television
are excellent buys for many small businesses. It's pretty affordable to
advertise through these mass media outlets, not to mention they also allow
you to advertise to a very specific audience.
Radio stations format
their programming for certain age groups and life styles. Whether you
want to reach blue-collar men between the ages of 25 and 35, or white-collar
women over 50; there is a radio station for you.
Cable TV systems are
dramatically increasing the number of channels they offer. New low- power
TV stations are popping up everywhere. Soon, thanks to new digital technology,
regular broadcast stations may be able to split their single channel into
several. All these new channels need advertising to survive.
Many are offering
very affordable rates easily in reach for small business people.
Start by calling the
sales departments of radio and TV stations. Ask about rates for advertising
at different times of day. Also ask about package deals, where you get
a price break for buying a number of spots over time. Keep in mind the
kinds of audiences you'll be reaching.
After you have all
of this information, you can look at the demographics of your audience
and decide if it would be better to push your product or service as a
necessity or a luxury. Remember to stress the most important points for
a better response.
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