When I moved into this neighbourhood 12 years ago, the neighbours all told me the riding mower I had to buy was a Deere. I had come from the city and I only ever owned a regular push mower. I was prepared to do a lot of research for my first rider. But they insisted that for the 2 acres I had to mow, John Deere was the mower of choice. We bowed to their experience and bought a Deere. Here 12 years later I still have the same one.
What else do we purchase based on the opinion of people we respect? Looking around my home, I see plenty of products that carry logos of products that my friends also own. In the Spring Rose, my wife and i bought a hot tub. We looked around, but in the end we bought the brand one of our best friends bought. In purchasing the tub, we discovered why they recommended the dealer and model they did. The experience was head and shoulders above the competition. The tub was also the most expensive. Price never entered into the equation other than we had a top limit.
How much of what we buy is more because of our friends? Maybe this is another good reason why consumer brands should pay extra attention to social marketing. Turning customers into advocates for their brands can make life-long customers. Even how we choose our friends is based on criteria we admire. Our wives love to match-make with our friends. That's how seriously we trust our friends' opinions. We bet our lives on it.
The best ribs are at a certain butcher shop, call Lyse, she'll help you find the perfect house. I only trust my books with Janice or all my computers are Macs. It sounds like we're selling, but in reality we're sharing our life with friends. We want to share experiences. We don't like to see our friends ripped off. You in return can trust their opinions, because they have no ulterior motives. This is why referrals are the finest leads you can get. Shared experiences.
MLM (multi-level marketers) rely of this dynamic to increase sales. They know that all the ladies attending the house party will buy something from their friends. And their friends and their friends and so on. If you've ever experienced a house party, you will be amazed by how much an individual will spend on products they've never heard of and have not researched. The power of relationships transcends everything here.
Even when I discover a product or service, I'm anxious to tele my friends about it so that they too can benefit. If your buddy discovers the slice-free golf ball, you can bet he's going to bring it your attention. This advocacy works across all relationships whether personal or business. Finding strategies to develop them should be paramount with you. It's relationship marketing in its most powerful sense.
Branding Without A Net Is A Risk Worth Embracing
A powerful brand position is one that puts it all on the line and leads. No Plan B means that failure is not an option.
With branding you plan for success, you don't plan for failure.