Belief is a powerful thing. It is essentially the driving force behind all of our actions.
In order to understand how to market and brand your company (or product/service), you should have some understanding of what people believe. Am I saying you must become a theologian of all religions? No. What I am saying is marketers and sales professionals should become theologians of the religion of buying.
People do not make individual decisions within a vacuum. Each purchase decision is based upon a lifetime of training, learning, and experiencing. These elements culminate in the development of a belief system. This belief system, left unchecked, dictates what decisions people make. As a marketer, you have two choices:
1) Complement. Build your sales and/or brand off of this belief system.
2) Challenge. Build your sales and/or brand by challenging this system.
Complementing is easier (once you understand the belief system) and faster than challenging. If done right, many products that follow this path are purchased with little or no thought given. The idea-of-your-product works in concert with already established beliefs in order to create an offer that is hard to resist.
Challenging is harder and more tedious than complementing. It’s also more risky. This is where you’re swimming upstream. You’re asking people to deconstruct part of their belief system and allow you to help them rebuild it. This takes trust and time. If this is done right, you have created a loyal following of customers who have given thought to why they buy from you. Why is that important?
Companies and products that complement are in greater risk to competitors. Actually, the hardest part of complementing is finding a market that isn’t already occupied. And if it’s already occupied, then you either have to challenge people’s belief that they should buy from your competitor or tweak the offering in order to appeal to those whose belief system wouldn’t allow them to buy from your competitors.
In order to challenge beliefs, companies have to enter into conversations with potential buyers.