216. The Marketing Secret Many Companies Don't Know
The secret to creating an inspirational brand comes down to a simple 7 word rule
They call it “the happiest place on earth”.
They don’t call it “the best rides on earth.”
They definitely don’t call it “the least expensive vacation on earth.”
It’s the happiest place on earth.
They call it that for a very specific reason:
Because Disney knows the marketing secret that many other companies fail to understand.
Lucky for you, I’m going to tell you what that secret is.
…but not quite yet.
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As you may know, I do a bunch of work as a business consultant. When people ask me about my job, I explain that I lead and repair growth processes for 7- to 8-figure companies.
When a company isn’t growing fast enough, I fix it.
I turn challenges into profit.
But I have a secret that I don’t tell anybody. Since it’s just you and me here, and since I trust you, I will tell you my secret. But first, you have to promise not to tell anyone.
OK, here’s my secret: I am purposely somewhat misleading in describing what I do.
That is to say, I definitely accelerate revenue. And I usually do that fairly quickly. I also fix the growth challenges. I do that pretty quickly too.
But HOW I do it is different than you probably think.
When I say I “lead and repair growth processes”, you probably think I focus my work on sales teams. In fact, if you’re a CxO, that’s kinda what I want you to think.
But it’s not true.
I don’t necessarily just work with sales teams. In fact, sometimes I never even work with the sales team at all.
The truth is that stalled growth is usually not the sign of a problem with the sales team. It’s usually the sign of a problem with leadership.
And this, my friend, brings us right back to the Happiest Place on Earth.
The Marketing Secret Many Companies Don’t Know
The Walt Disney Company is a marketing machine. It’s one of the best marketing powerhouses in the world and consistently remains in the Top 10 of the World’s Most Admired Companies.
It’s also one of the most popular and recognizable brands in the world.
How did they accomplish these feats? Much of it comes back to that important marketing secret I still haven’t told you about. Well, now’s the time. Here’s the secret, narrowed down to 7 words:
Don’t pitch the product, pitch the outcome.
Yup, that’s it. Seems so simple right?
You’ll be shocked - shocked, I tell you - how often companies don’t adhere to that advice.
Inspiring Your Customers
People are not inspired by hearing about a product, they get inspired by connecting with the result of the product experience.
Disney can talk all day about the rides and the food and all the other shenanigans that happen within the theme park walls, but that is not what builds the brand. Sure those products may excite people, but they won’t inspire them.
And Disney knows that the most popular brands are built on the back of inspiration. Just ask Apple and Nike.
For Disney, the outcome they want for their theme park visitors is happiness. A lot of happiness.
So much happiness that they call it “the happiest place on earth.” After all, “the best names for parking lot sections” is a nice reality of the product, but not near an inspiring outcome.
Small Companies Matter
The reason I told you about my business is that I don’t want you to think this secret is only relevant to big companies.
I lead with “accelerating growth” because that’s the outcome. That’s inspiring. Companies want to grow.
My process is not inspiring. In fact, if I pitched the process (e.g “I’ll work with leadership to help backfill their weaknesses”), it would be like Disney having the slogan “the most fun you’ll have standing in long lines”.
It might be true, but it’s simply not inspirational.
Recognizing The Good and The Not So Good
Now that you know this secret, you will start noticing who uses it and who doesn’t. For instance, here are a few companies that understand the secret:
I’m lovin it (McDonalds)
Shave Time. Shave Money. (Dollar Shave Club)
Just Do It (Nike)
In each of these examples, they talk about the inspiring outcome. Do you notice how not a single one of them even mentions their product?
For contrast, check out these big brands that seem to miss the boat:
What can brown do for you (UPS)
Eat mor chikin (Chick-fil-a)
The king of beers (Budweiser)
Each of these are about the product.
Are they memorable? Maybe.
Are they inspiring? Doubtful.
That Next Client Pitch
This marketing secret isn’t just relevant to company slogans. For goodness sakes, don’t limit your thinking to slogans.
If you’re involved in sales, partnerships, account management or customer support, it is still hugely relevant.
You know what, let me give you an example of how two companies in the exact same space differ in their website nomenclature.
Zoho is a CRM platform. When you go to their website, you’ll see this:
Your life’s work, powered by our life’s work.
It’s all about their product. There is no mention of an outcome nor anything to be inspired about if I use their product.
Now take a gander over at Hubspot, another CRM platform.
It’s all about the outcome. It’s inspirational and aspirational. I want to grow better!
So remember, whether you are pitching a client, promoting a product, or talking about a service, lead with the outcome not the process.
A little rethink of how you are positioning yourself could make a dramatic difference in growth.
But, as we discussed, this is a secret. So let’s just keep it between you and me.
Somewhat Relevant Quote
“Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.”
Joe Chernov, CMO Pendo.io
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