How to Use the Power of Observation to Make Your Business Stand Out
When I was a Health Coach, I used to study medication commercials to “diagnose” the science behind what the medication was really doing. Was it manipulating something in the liver? In the brain? Was it really just a drug with a ton of side effects that did the same thing a natural remedy could do (*cough…Humira)?
This curious nature helped me find solutions for clients because it helped me dive even deeper into root causes of problems my clients were dealing with.
Fast forward to the love of my life…business strategy. Now I study commercials to see how they are structured to lure in the consumer and get them to buy. While I certainly read “all of the books” and listen to podcasts and devour magazine articles and online advice, there is nothing like diving deep into real life examples of how big companies are applying strategy to their businesses….and winning.
To be clear, I am not talking about observing other people who do the same thing as you. I’m talking about studying what businesses like Target, Best Buy, Amazon, regional brick and mortar, physician groups and more are doing. You see, one thing I preach to my clients is that the same ol’ same ol’ doesn’t work for everyone and if you want to stand out in the crowd, you need to be different.
So right about now you’re thinking, “what do I even look for?” Here’s some guidance on what to look at to spur some ideas for your online business:
1. Look at how they are using taglines and phrases.
How are they getting people’s attention? Think about how these phrases are intended to make the recipient feel and what actions are they trying to get them to take. When you start to look for this, you will be amazed at how one little phrase can lead someone down the path of opening up their wallet.
Think about how you can apply these strategies to your taglines and the punchy phrases you use.
2. Study their approach to determine who they are marketing to.
I always find the commercials that are clearly targeting toward my age group, the Xers, super fun (although painfully obvious to someone like me). There is usually some reference to movies and music of the 80s which makes the heart get all happy and fully into what they are throwing down. Right away, the one with MC Hammer had my attention. Their mission….accomplished.
If the advertisement is all techy, they are likely targeting a younger audience and sometimes even the parents of that younger audience (because after all…who is going to pay for all of that?).
Who is your audience? How can you apply these approaches to your business?
3. Observe the strategy they are using to target pain and pleasure points.
Health coaches in particular….listen up. Watch those drug commercials. Nearly every single one is targeting pain and pleasure points like champs. Listen to the language. Watch the images. They’ve already done the work for you. They know that their target market wants to be able to do XY and Z again. Boom…you work is done here.
Another tip. You know that lengthy list of side effects? We both know that there are natural remedies and lifestyle changes that would allow a boat load of people to get off and stay off these medications. Make a list of how your program does that and the side effects they can avoid (because nobody wants “blood clots” or “death that may occur”).
4. Dig into how they are generating excitement.
Some of these companies are pros at creating hype. I’ve gotten at least two emails a day from Best Buy the last week with Black Friday this and almost Black Friday that. Their language and the way they are generating hyped up excitement are fantastic.
The stores that sell toys and other things that are hot on Black Friday are getting super creative to reel people in. This time of year is an observation goldmine!
Keep an eye on their techniques and figure out how you can get people reeled in and over the moon excited about what you offer.
5. Do an overall review of what is working for them and why.
Grab that popcorn and some wine and snuggle in. It’s time to look at the whole picture and take note of what these companies have done over time, what they are doing now, and how it has affected their sales and overall big picture.
Many of us are flat out addicted to Target. Why? Watch what they are putting out there. What is their brand promise and how are they using it? How do they always seem to know what works? I guarantee they have made a science of store layout and making sure that we spend hours in there and forget what we went in for in the first place. Their signage, the excitement, the joy they show in their commercials…the whole experience is phenomenal.
Hint: They have a funnel. It just looks a little different than an online funnel (or really we don’t see it at all).
Entry points/Luring us in – some ridiculous deal we can’t resist, the energizing red, the schnazzy ads, the promise of getting a higher level product at a lower price than a department store
Mid-level offers – ahem….all of that goodness placed right on the endcaps
Higher level offer – oh you know…like that fancy this or that which is just a few steps into the aisle
Re-engagement – get our credit card, join our list, get discounts on this or that
Warning: If you do this, you may end up being obsessed with it like I am. It is truly fascinating and worth more than listening to that monotone instructor in Marketing class. You pictured it, right?
How are you going to observe and use this information in your business?