Marketing: The Recognition Factor

By Christopher Zoukis

The number one most desired brand in the world is Gucci, which also owns Yves Saint Laurent and Sergio Rossi. Michael Macko, who is the director of fashion at Saks Fifth Avenue, explained to Forbes why Gucci is so alluring. “Gucci manages to offer high fashion and very commercial items. That iconic red and green stripe is some of the most iconic luxury branding ever created, and people want a piece of it.”

When Gucci opened its store in New York City, they planned their marketing carefully. First, a grand opening that was well-advertised; second, the launch of a “Gucci Loves New York” handbag collection; and third, all profits from the handbags went to a charitable cause, which was also well-advertised.  Photo courtesy examiner.com

The second most desirable brand in the world is actually two brands, Chanel and Calvin Klein. The two brands tied. Chanel’s success is attributed to its relevance, according to Forbes. Which means constant refreshment of products in the area of styling. Chanel’s luxury products are timeless. Marketing of this ageless quality is accomplished by identifying the products with the most beautiful women in the world. Chanel’s current celebrity symbol is Vanessa Paradis. Her presence implies exclusive beauty.

Calvin Klein’s world-wide sales were $4.5 billion in 2006. In 2009, that number increased to $5.8 billion. The appeal of Calvin Klein’s luxury products is due to the company’s contemporary designs, which present an image of cool arrival. Calvin Klein’s marketing revolves around the deliberate presentation of this carefully fostered image of cool confidence, which speaks to the desires.

Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo hold down the final spots in the world’s most desirable brands.

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A Feel for the Deal

By Christopher Zoukis

From effective language, the book segues logically to evoking emotions.  Sellers are advised to “create not simply a logical but a gut response” from buyers.  Research proves that most people make decisions to buy based on emotion first, followed by logical reasoning.  The illustration provided is BMW’s automobile commercial that declares:  “We don’t just make cars, we make joy!”  The seller’s job is to develop and ask questions that generate emotions appropriate to the buyer’s decision-making process.  Doing so, allows the seller to bond with the buyer during the sales process.   Image courtesy www.cartoonstock.com

Seidman supplies a number of sample questions designed to evoke emotions in each stage of the selling process.  The author advises sellers to remember that gestures, tone of voice, and facial expressions “must support the emotion you are emphasizing.”  In addition, two primary points about evoking emotions are related and re-emphasized:  first, since buying decisions are based on emotions, word choices are important; second, sellers need to “find their voice” by making certain to use their own vocabulary and personality. 

Another powerful selling tool is the power of storytelling.  A specific methodology for using and applying the persuasive power of storytelling is explained in detail.  Seidman’s model is called PET:  P is for personal.  E is for emotional.  And T is for teachable or trainable. 

The stories should be personal, linking experiences common to most people.  First experiences, such as school, kissing, jobs, paychecks, and bad blunders, such as foot-in-mouth comments and accidents or funny mistakes are good sources for story content.

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CHUNKING

By Christopher Zoukis

Chunking

At this point, the author introduces information about how people receive and transmit information, using it to demonstrate the difference between big-picture buyers and detail-buyers.  The difference resides in what is called chunking.  People who chunk up see the big picture.  People who chunk down perceive detail.  Big picture buyers want to know what impact the sales person’s product will have on the company.  Detail buyers want to see the separate steps to the solution. Image courtesy psychologytoday.com

Seidman does not provide a specific question to aid sellers in identifying between the two types.  Instead, he suggests sales people come right to the point:  “Would you prefer a big picture or do you want all the details?”  Big-picture buyers want to hear general descriptions of the product and its cost, along with an overview of how it will benefit the company.  Detail buyers want to hear the specifications of the product and how it will integrate into the company.  The seller then provides information pertinent to the buyer’s inclination, either a summary or a vast amount of detailed information.

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PATTERN RECOGNITION: A Summary

By Christopher Zoukis

Salespeople want to make more money.  The trick to making more money is making more sales.  And the trick to making more sales is, according to Dan Seidman, learning to speak the buyer’s language.  Once salespeople learn to interpret buyers’ verbal cues, they can choose the appropriate words to influence the buyers’ decisions.   Seidman’s book, The Secret Language of Influence teaches salespeople how to listen, gain psychological insight, and then influence others.

Patterns of Interruption

Seidman states that all buyers maintain patterns.  They do the same thing in the same way over and over again.  They respond to sales pitches the same way time after time.  The example is a buyer to whom the author has left forty-six voice mails over a three year period.  The buyer has never returned one of the calls.  Frustrated, Seidman leaves another voice mail announcing that the buyer has won the “prestigious Most Elusive Prospect Award,” for never having returned a call. Author Dan Seidman / Photo courtesy seihonolulu.com

Unsurprisingly, the buyer, now angry, returns the call.  The buyer eventually becomes a client.  Seidman’s story illustrates what psychologists call “pattern interrupt,” which is a method of changing people’s usual manner of thinking.  The author demonstrates how to use pattern interrupt in situations where buyers use their regular or usual brush-off techniques. 

In the example, the prospective buyer attempts to brush-off the salesperson by citing that the business environment is tough at the present time, thus the buyer does not have the budget to make any purchases.  Seidman’s pattern interrupt is to respond by asking an apparently irrelevant question, a non-sequitur.  The implication is that the buyer, because things are so bad, will probably soon be jumping out of his office window.  The buyer admits that business is “not that bad.”  Now that the pattern is broken, the salesperson may make their presentation.

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