Influence Consumers’ Decision: how to make them pick you?

 

Today’s consumers live in a world full of choices. They live in a world full of decisions. How do they make these decisions, and what can you do to influence them? I put together a new class Influencing Consumers’ Decisions:  how to make them pick you? that will take a closer look at this question.

In this class, we’ll dive deeply into the numerous decisions a consumer make prior to actually making a purchase. By understanding this decision making process, we’ll be able to put together a plan to influence the process so the decisions would be made in our favor.

This course is available on-demand via Udemy for $29.  I am offering an exclusive promotion to my blog readers.  Use promo code ICD5OFF for $5 off.  Sign up here.

First Moment of Truth

With all the conversation surrounding Zero Moment of Truth, I thought it’d be nice to revisit a more established concept.

The First Moment of Truth was first coined by P&G back around 2005, when live was simpler.  Consumers goes to the shop, shop, and make their purchase decision.  The definition of this term is “the 3-7 seconds after a shopper first encounters a product on a store shelf”.  These precious moment converts a browser into a buyer.  This is the moment where you win or lose the sale!

To win the First Moment of Truth, the packaging has to be impactful to jump off the shelf.  Consumers are close to purchase, so the job of the marketer is to make it easier for them.  We need to provide a clear reason to buy and don’t get in the way of that decision (e.g. don’t over-complicate the packaging).  The packaging is key here, because if they can’t see you on the shelf, their browsing would naturally take them to a competitive product nearby.  So, to win this moment, it’s comes down to having impactful packaging.

In today’s world, consumers are faced with more information.  Their path to purchase is a bit more complex.  In today’s world, that First Moment of Truth may still happen at shelf, but it may also happen online.  The packaging equivalent online is the product detail page.  Does the page contain the right information to convert that browser into a buyer? The same rules apply.  They are close to purchase, so make it easy for them to make that decision.  You want to provide clear reasons to buy, but don’t overwhelm the shopper with information.

To learn more about packaging and how to make good packaging, don’t forget to check out the eBook Six Gotchas in CPG Food Packaging Strategy and How to Avoid Them available in the Resource section.

Myth: you need advertising budget to build a brand

For most people, when thinking about successful branding, examples such as Nike or Coca-Cola come to mind.  People think about expensive tv advertising, and the first immediate thought is that they don’t have millions in their advertising budget.  People often think that they need lots of money to successfully build a brand – and that’s a myth.  Here are a couple of examples:

  • Facebook released its first commercial in winter 2012, celebrating its 1 billion active monthly users.  By this time, Facebook was a $5 billion company, and after it already went public with a stock price that would put the company at a $104 billion valuation. 
  • Google ran its first commercial in February 2010, during the SuperBowl.  That commercial would have costs as much as $2.9 million dollars, according to Associated Press.  However, to put that into perspective, by end of 2009, Google was already a $23billion company, according to its financial records.  And Google would have already celebrated its eleventh birthday.
  • Starbucks ran its first commercial in winter 2007.  By end of 2007, Starbucks was a $9billion company.  And it was the first commercial in the company’s 36 years history, with over 15,000 stores in 43 countries. 

As these examples illustrated, expensive advertising is not necessary to build a multibillion-dollar brand.  These brands created a unique and memorable experience to their consumers.  This in turn brought these brands significant fan-followings.  These fans generated a high degree of word-of-mouth marketing that was more effective than any expensive advertising. 

  • In the case of Facebook, it created a new category.  Being first always has its advantages regarding publicity.  Nothing quite equals being first.  Facebook created the category of social networking.  The category itself generates a network of fans, and these networks grew.  As these networks grew, the Facebook brand was born.  Now, to be fair, networking always happened.  Facebook just redefined networking and enabled this social interaction to take place digitally. 
  • In the case of Google, Google wasn’t the first search engine.  Google launched at a time where there were numerous choices of search portals.  However, Google redefined the search experience.  At the time Google launched, search was done via search portals.  The screen was cluttered with various categories, links, and advertising.  While all the information may be readily available at the search portal, users were overwhelmed by the information.  The page sometimes loaded slowly.  The overall user experience was confusing.  Google eliminated all that clutter and presented a simplified search experience.  Google, at launch, did one thing and one thing only – search.  There was no mail.  There was no weather.  There was no news.  There was nothing that was commonly found on search portals, except search.  This made Google endearing to the many frustrated internet users, and they shared Google with the world.
  • Likewise for Starbucks, Starbucks redefined what a coffee shop should be.  A coffee shop wasn’t just a place that sells coffee.  Starbucks placed strong emphasis of making its coffee shops serve as a “third place” to its consumers.  A third place is a place outside work and home, and it’s a place for social gathering.  Starbucks focused on making its coffee shop a place for people to share a cup of coffee, and maybe chat about the day.  Starbucks wasn’t just selling coffee.  Starbucks was selling an experience. 

All these brands spent money, don’t get me wrong.  But these brands didn’t spend millions on advertising when they were starting.  They built their brands based on delivering a remarkable product.  These brands redefined what their category was supposed to be about.  In doing so, they created unique experiences that were differentiated, memorable, and worth sharing. 

Foundation of Building a Brand

My Skillshare class has been relaunched – and I wanted to make sure that my readers know about this resource.

Have you ever wondered why top shelf liquor can command a premium price, when people can rarely tell the difference in a blind taste test? Well, as you may have guessed, that’s the power of branding. In this 4-module course, I will provide you with the key building blocks toward building a brand. Topics that will be covered include target consumer, benefit ladder, marketing mix, and more. This is a beginner’s class. (I’m working on a more advanced class for long-time readers of this blog.)

This course is available free with membership.  Check it out here!

Zero moment of truth

Thinking about the active evaluation phase of the consumer decision journey, it gives context of the zero moment of truth.  Zero moment of truth (ZMOT) was coined and publicized by Google about three years ago.  Before Google coined this term, there was the first moment of truth – which is purchase.  Then, there is the second moment of truth is at use – whether the consumer enjoys the user experience or was left disappointed.  However, as the consumer decision journey showed, consumers go through a long journey of active evaluation before they arrive at that first moment of truth.  In eras past, consumers gather information via magazines, consumer reports, friends and families, etc.  In the digital age, consumers have in their disposal a lot more information sources.  Search became an important part of this consumer decision journey (hence why Google has a vested interest to ensure all marketers know about this ZMOT).  When a consumer is triggered, they usually don’t recall the whole story.  When they watch a commercial, they may not have perfect brand recall.  Search becomes an important engine toward discovery of your product.  So, investing against active evaluation, or ZMOT, is first ensuring that you’re found when people are looking for you.  Secondly, when they found you, you’re serving up content that pushes them down the funnel toward purchase of your brand.  That is winning the zero moment of truth!

 

 

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