Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Benefits—not Brands: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?

     You've probably heard the saying, "You can't get more than you pay for."  If you're like most people, you're not even getting your money's worth.
     Here's why:
     Nobody buys a product because he really wants that product.  He buys it because he wants a benefit that he expects to get from it.  Really.  Nobody buys a Coke because he wants a Coke.  After all, as soon as the drinks it, he no longer has it.  He buys a Coke for refreshment and flavor, and maybe quick energy.
     This principle applies to everything you buy.
     Advertisers know this.  One of the first rules of advertising is, "Sell the benefit."  What I didn't realize until a couple of years ago was that advertisers pull a sleight of hand.  Once you're hooked on wanting a certain benefit, they try to convince you that you won't get the benefit you want unless you buy their brand of that product.
     You've seen so many advertisements for competing brands that you're not gulled into thinking that you need that particular brand.  Nonetheless, most people are gulled into believing that they have to buy either that brand or another brand of a similar product.
     When was the last time an advertiser tried to convince you that you didn't really have to buy a manufactured productor anything at allto get the benefit you wanted?  Growers of fresh foods rarely if ever advertise; it's the producers of junk foods that have to advertise.  
     Advertisers even try to convince people to buy inferior versions of things that people already have.  For example, why would manufacturers of baby formula have to advertise to, and give free samples to, new mothers if the manufacturers were convinced that their produce was superior to what the mother already had?
     Why should you care what you wear when you go to bed?  Wouldn't old clothes do as well as new clothes that were manufactured especially as sleepwear?
     So many supermarket items come in plastic bags, including zip lock bags, that there should be few reasons to buy sandwich bags or zip lock bags.  If you already have them, why throw them away, only to buy them soon thereafter?
     I have been putting together a series of videos pertaining to 30 items that people commonly buy or want to buy.  For each, I've asked and answered two questions: "What benefit does the buyer hope to receive?" and "What's the best way of getting that benefit?"  By taking this approach, I'm convinced that much of the time we can raise our standards of living, spend less money, make healthier choices, and become more environmentally responsible—all at the same time.
     I have completed four videos discussing the first 6 of 30 items.  I've tried to make them entertaining as well as informative and insightful.  Some, by nature of the subject matter, some of them must be treated dispassionately.
     Below are the first four (or six, depending on whether you're counting items or videos):

     Benefits—not Brands (Parts 1-3)
     Processed vs Fresh Foods: Benefits—not Brands (Pt. 4 of 30)

     Infant Formula vs Breastfeeding: Benefits—not Brands (Pt. 5 of 30) 

      Air Conditioners vs Comfort: Benefitsnot Brands (Part 6 of 30)

     (Note: For some odd reason, I was unable to import the videos from YouTube.  Just click the links.)

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