The simple truth is in today’s world of computerized production and globalized distribution products work better than we expect them to. If you do a little digging, you’ll discover that many of the components that make up the different products that we purchase all come from the same factories or are built based on the same technology and the same patents. From automobiles to laptops to microwave ovens, functionality is similar or identical to the competition because the origins and components are too.
With the introduction of digital CD technology, the problems associated with old analog record players disappeared. Why? Because unlike analog recording which loses quality and resolution with each pass, duplicating a CD is a lossless procedure and reproduction imposes no degradation or information penalty. This made function cost of entry.
After years of development, televisions have evolved to a level where they don’t break anymore. And because the TV market is mature and most everyone who wants a television has one, there is simply no reason for anyone to purchase a new set.
What happened? TVs got bigger, screens got brighter, and the sound got better so consumers would be incentivized to buy new sets. Cable-ready, DVRs, Hi-Def, smart TVs, and web-enabled boxes were just a few of the features that gave consumers a new way of thinking about and purchasing televisions. Thanks to flat screen technology, consumers could buy larger and larger sets and mount them on their walls, brining the promise of high-quality home theaters to even budget conscious buyers.
Function is Cost Of Entry
If all products and services work equally well, or at least appear to provide similar functionality, then that very functionality becomes an expected commodity. What used to be the most important feature of a product – how well it worked – is no longer an important part of a consumer’s consideration. Why? because function is cost of entry.
Instead, a new mantra has arisen that explains how and why consumers buy into today’s hyper-efficient, hyper-connected society: “People don’t choose you for what you do, they choose you for who you are.”
In other words, when function is cost-of-entry and all products are similar and acceptable, it’s the way a product makes you feel, not the way it works, that matters.
While a state-of-the-art flat screen TV might have more bells and whistles than the older and larger technology, the viewing experience is arguably similar. But the newer flat screens also provide an image of status and affluence that many consumers appreciate.
That’s the pure power of All About Them. It cuts through the clutter and immediately informs your listener that what you have to say is important to them. It often precludes facts and figures because it gets right to the heart of what matters to consumers — their own self-interest.
Here’s the ugly little secret about human behavior and the best marketing that takes advantage of it — people are most concerned with themselves. And while this seems so obvious, it never fails to amaze me how people forget about this when they’re trying to convince someone and fill their marketing messages with superfluous facts and figures that only serve to hide the true meaning that the advertiser is trying to communicate in the first place.
I’m sorry to say that you’ve done it too.
Function is Cost Of Entry
Because when most everything works, function is cost of entry. And consumers, even those with limited means, aren’t just choosing products for what they can accomplish, they are choosing them for what their purchases say about them.
And that’s what my new book is all about – showing you exactly how to harness the sheer power of All About Them to get your point across and convince your customers to see things from your point of view and purchase your products and services.