Copyright 2017, Cain Publications, Inc.
A Third Secret
A third secret is that the most powerful marketing has nothing to do with advertising. It’s what others say about you.
I used to work with Al (name changed to protect the less-than-objective). He’s a “Ford Man.” He considers any other brand of vehicle not worth his attention except to ridicule it, something he is eager to do, and accuse those who drive them as somewhat less than intelligent and possibly a danger to society, though his words are far more colorful. I used to kid him about what FORD stood for, “fix or repair daily” or “found on road dead.” But his father was a “Ford Man,” too. Al didn’t have a chance. He had Ford pumped into his brain from the time he was old enough to listen. So in spite of the fact that his car was in the shop once a month (I do not exaggerate), he still had a new Ford every three years when their leases were up. His father was the marketing that affected him. That’s word of mouth to the extreme.
I drive a Toyota pickup. Why? Because of marketing. What was the marketing? Toyotas are reliable. Just check the JD Power ratings. I bought my current truck new 150,000 miles ago. The only things I’ve had to do with it are buy a new set of tires, new brakes a couple of times, and a new battery a couple of times, plus change the oil. The marketing that sold me was that I could depend on it. It’s also good for bringing home stuff that would in no way fit in the trunk of a car.
My wife drives a Hyundai. We bought that new, too. What was the marketing that sold us that? Once again, reliability. They warranty them for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Several years ago we got a flyer in the mail from a local car dealer listing the most reliable vehicles as judged by JD Power and Associates. Right at the top of the list was Hyundai. We weren’t in the market for a new car then, but we put that list on our refrigerator and left it there several years. So every time we thought about a new car, what came to mind? My wife also asked people at her work who drove Hyundais how they liked them. The testimonials were 100 percent positive. What was the benefit to buying those vehicles? We weren’t inconvenienced by having to take them to the repair shops and we could depend on them to start when we turned the key, go when we pressed the gas pedal, stop when we hit the brakes, and get us where we wanted to go.
How about brushing your teeth? Why did you buy that particular brand of toothpaste? I think we use Colgate at our house. I can’t be sure without going into the bathroom and looking, but I think the tube is red and white, Colgate’s colors. We always buy that toothpaste. I believe my wife originally bought it because of the cap. It flips up so requires no unscrewing and eliminates forgetting to put the cap back on. Somewhere in the past undoubtedly Colgate had an ad or marketing that promoted their patented cap. I do remember the colors and design of Colgate, though. That has to do with branding. We will discuss how you can brand yourself and your rental properties in the next chapter.
The toothpaste commercials never enter my consciousness. My point here is that we can’t know the factor, feature or benefit that will prompt someone to buy. Fathers, reliability, no commercials, or caps, we can’t predict what the selling point will be that tips the scales in favor of a product or service. But it will be something, and maybe something we least expect.