Ah relationships. Can’t live with them; can’t live without them.
It may come as no surprise to you, dear reader, that in Baby’s never-ending search for learning the truth about sales, we’ve learnt that selling is much like a good relationship.
Gone are the days when a charming statuesque 50s housewife would smilingly force a brand on to you with vague claims about being ‘better than the leading brand’. No, today’s advertising world is about a two-way relationship between consumer and brand, one in which there is equality, one in which both parties wear the trousers, one in which both parties speak and (perhaps most importantly) both listen to one another.
With the shift in power, brands and their communications now have to take consumers seriously in order to make a sale – and in order to make repeat sales.
Opening the lines of communication (Twitter, user-generated content, culture jamming) and taking on board feedback has never been so important. Like all good relationships, you need to work at it and constantly work at it. And by doing this you increase sales because your brand equity and word of mouth about your brand help boost your brand reputation. Which in itself can be enough to make you either into the next Harrods…or the next Woolworths.
Ever noticed the other ways sales are like relationships? Brands misbehave (sweatshops apparently don’t mean anything to Nike or Primark); consumers cheat (people shop for Adidas trainers whilst wearing Onitsuka Tigers); and
you almost always want what you can’t get – just as the Levi’s Type 1 jeans brand showed when they ‘played hard to get’ in 2003, where demand considerably outweighed supply, making them the most sought-after pair of denims that year.
So maybe that’s worth thinking about next time you decide you’re loyal to a brand. Relationships don’t last forever, and ultimately you’ve got to look out for yourself…
Who’s your best sales relationship with?