With Namibia’s vibe of the northern regions, last week I had a opportunity to visit one of Namibia’s popular regions, Omusati.
I toured the whole region and discovered there is a lot in this country that we don’t know.
Oshanas that don’t wet or stay wet even during rain seasons, the famous baobab trees in Outapi and Okahao.
However, what strike me most a town called Oshikuku.
The town is young and vibrant full of potential, the proper next Ongwediva of Omusati. It was nice stay with lovely people and nice weather.
While there I learnt that most of the people that side have a certain emotional appeal that once you meet them you always keep on remembering them. It really get me thinking of how entrepreneurs can also use the same strategy.
A very important element to marketing that to many entrepreneurs overlook is finding your emotional benefit. We tend to focus our energies on our business features- from pricing to product claim to timetables.
But it’s not the facts that set you apart. The rational elements of your business do little to differentiate you from your competition.
They also don’t help you from a relationship with your customer.
It is the emotional benefits you offer that makes your company or organisation special, turning your business into a brand.
Take a laundry detergent category - something we are are all familiar with. Virtually every product on the market offer same core benefits -cleaning, whitening, brightening and stain removing.
A lot of them have the same basic ingredients. For these reasons, it’s hard to tell one product from the other on a rational basis. They all compete for the same core features.
Think for a minute about how to choose one of the products. I am sure you are picking out features, but it’s really the brand you are choosing. You choose one brand over the other because you trust it, you are familiar with it, you have relied on it for years or it is been highly recommended by someone you trust.
These are all emotional benefits. It is the emotional benefits that have turned those products into brands. You have relationship with brands, not products.
As an entrepreneur, you can do the same with your small business.
While you will certainly need to sort through your products or service features and benefits, if you want to create a brand people trust and recommend, you will need to offer an emotion benefit. The first step is through segmenting your market and getting a niche target market that you will concentrate at.
You have to discover what your target group wants from you, beyond just product/service features. You need to find what will satisfy their emotional wants, beyond what they need from the products or service.
Say you run a restaurant. Your customers know they can get daily specials and good tasting food from you. But what can you offer them that they can’t get elsewhere? Is it a feeling of being at home, free internet for some colleagues who don’t have offices and want to use it as their office, part of the neighbourhood and being comforted and nurtured?
For a beer garden for example, that emotional differentiator is offering customers a place where they can gather with family for a real family meal. Take a look at their brand experience, from the advertising to the website to the promotions.
It is entirely built around this emotional benefit. Every business has to get customers` emotions differently, in whatever way best suit them.
If you are a business consultant like me you may think all you offer are functional benefits like reports analysis. While your clients may need these things day-to-day, there is an underlying emotional benefit that you can offer them as well: building their reputation among their colleagues, helping get them promoted or allowing them to balance their work and family pressure. You also offer them trust and reliability- factors that create emotional appeal. These are the emotional benefits that will build a lasting relationship with clients, so that they want to work with you rather than the competitor next door.
The emotional benefit for your brand may not be intuitively obvious to you. Talking with your loyal customers is a good place to start searching for that emotional appeal. Also take a look at what your competition is saying to their customers. This may give you ideas about how to create your own messaging. Simply thinking about why customers need to come back to you time and again could be enough to reveal the answer.
Customers don’t necessarily remember what you do for them as much as they remember how you made them feel. There is where you uncover your emotional benefit.
Till next week, affect someone positively emotionally and you see how you glow.