Turning Down the Sales Pitch: Branding Your Business the Quiet Way
How do they do it?
You’ve seen some of the new marketers on the scene who seem to be able to sell without pitching. They throw a bunch of information at you, and over time you are lulled into their product or service funnel. Before you know it, you’re whipping out your credit card. Here’s how they do it.
You don’t need to be the loudest in your industry. In fact, the loudest person is usually the one that’s trying to “oversell” themselves. They’re probably also struggling with clients and customers. On the other hand, the quiet ones in your industry are probably quietly raking in profits.
Minimal brands tend to pare everything back to the bare essentials. They set up their website to capture leads so that they can sell to them via email. This strategy works very well because there’s an understated sense of authority and power that comes from treading lightly while carrying a big stick. If you want to see this strategy in action, you can learn more at www.RussellRes.com.
You don’t need to say much when you can demonstrate the power and effectiveness of your products and services. If you sell luxury items, you almost need to be understated in your ads. Otherwise, people won’t believe you’re all that valuable. Valuable products and services have “underground” authority.
That is, they have lots and lots of people talking about them, without a lot of direct advertising going on. Now, being a quiet company should be confused with a company that has nothing to say. You don’t want that — it could make you irrelevant and put you out of business. Minimalism works best when you’re not selling directly to consumers, retail.
How To Adopt A Cryptic Strategy
If you’re selling in a niche and you want to cultivate a really strong brand, to the point of a “cult following,” you’ll want to use symbolism and the celebration of a particular lifestyle that is tied to your brand and community of clients or customers. Dos Equis did this with their famous “Most Interesting Man In The World” campaign.
Other brands, like Muji, communicate in ways that would be irrelevant to most people, but which unite its community of buyers. This is exactly what you want. Their approach to marketing cultivates a deliberately off-handed personality that sits well with the company’s intended audience.
It’s almost like there’s an “inside joke.” And, while it feels counter-intuitive, this is the strongest form of advertising.
First, it shuts out anyone who isn’t “in the know” while simultaneously making those people want to know what the “big deal” is. For customers, it reaffirms their unofficial “membership” with a brand that “gets them.”
Adopting An Authority Strategy
Quiet brands work so well because of their implied authority. If you’re in a niche where authority is respected and welcomed, then you would do well to establish yours. For example, most B2B brands benefit from an authoritative approach because business owners tend to only want to work with authorities.
Finance and insurance, for example, are where this approach works extremely well because finance is often seen as mysterious and complicated. A well-positioned financial company can untangle the complex web of tax and financial strategies out there and present them to a business in a simple way — a way that commands respect.
And, let’s face it: a good financial strategy is worth millions to a company.
The same is true of insurance. Companies that can demystify insurance command respect. There’s also an element of safety in authority. With insurance, the business revolves about the idea that brands need to be protected. Insurance is that protection. So, if you’re a business owner, you want to go with the largest, most well-capitalized, companies out there.
A quiet approach to branding doesn’t always work in every industry. In fact, even in industries where it does work, a defined strategy needs to be laid out or the brand might come off as being irrelevant. It can also attract disdain and make your brand look snobbish. You do not want to come across as “holier than thou art” in the advertising you do, or in your position in any media space.
Inject personality in your brand, and you’ll be perceived in the right light. And, don’t be afraid of using just a little bit of self-deprecating humor to break the edge of aloofness that this strategy can be, and often is, known for.
Fernando Dawson has been in business for many years and has seen so many changes in the way that businesses are run. He enjoys keeping up with new approaches and testing them out, basing his articles on his findings.