You’re selling sizzle,
Back in the old days (you know, like the week before last), there were many cute bits of advertising wisdom flying around. “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them”. “A good salesman can sell ice to Eskimos”. “Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle”.
And sure, there is still some truth to be found here if one is willing to see it. “Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle” could be interpreted to mean that you should sell the Benefits not the Features. But too often it has come to mean selling the aspiration or perception of a product instead of the product itself. And while “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them” could be seen to mean “Sell people what they want, not what they need”, too often it is simply an excuse for poor target group analysis or shoddy product development.
Now don’t get us wrong, selling the emotional or aspirational qualities of certain products is always going to be beneficial. Sometimes the “sizzle” is what attracts people. But today’s consumers are equipped with more knowledge and exposed to more advertising than at any point in human history. The result? They usually know what they want. (Even if they don’t know why). And the internet is full of fellow consumers eager and able to share their experiences with your product – both good and bad.
So if you are too focused on selling the “sizzle” (and not the actual benefits of your product), then consumers will move on to someone who will deliver the steak. And all you will be left with is a greasy stain on your wall.
Scroll, for the love of all that’s holy, scroll!