A change in behavior has to be associated with seeking something positive, not avoiding something negative.
This is the fourth in a series of blog posts about marketing health supplements, each post focusing on one of the core principles highlighted in “Marketing Health in an Unhealthy World”.
Why do we make changes to our lives? We marry. Divorce. Take jobs, leave jobs, seek new ones. We start exercising. We stop exercising.
What motivates us to make the choices we make?
Well….the sad truth of it ….it isn’t because we seek to better our lives by avoiding things that aren’t good for us…things that cause us pain, discomfort, disease. We are like the rats in the labs who, given a choice between pleasure (delivered via drugs or electric stimulation) or the avoidance of pain (in the form of starvation when food is readily available), seek pleasure to the point of death.
I know…seems a trifle morbid for a piece about marketing health supplements, but if we don’t acknowledge why people make choices about how they spend their time, money and attention, how can we influence those choices?
A simple truth: A change in behavior has to be associated with seeking something positive, not avoiding something negative.
So, as marketers of products that can improve a person’s life, health, longevity…without any marked increase in immediate pleasure, what do we do?
Here’s what we do: we associate the health benefits our products provide with the pleasure that a person may derive from improved health. Take it from Madison Avenue.
Perhaps fleeting, but positive, pleasant, “joyful” and often “sexy”. New cars. Corn chips. I-phones. Credit cards. What could they possibly have in common? Attractive, slender, successful people with wonderful white teeth, in pleasant environments, interacting with other attractive people. Just so you don’t think this is a new phenomenon, in the old days it was cigarettes, Coke/Pepsi, wines and liquors. And we mustn’t forget…..Fast Food! To watch a current or a “nostalgic” fast food ad, you’d think that lonely, broke, overweight people aren’t even allowed into a fast food restaurant!
Firstly, I know you know this. But how you use it is what is important.
Improved health is a lot of things. I know. I’m preaching to the choir.
Health enables choices.
My efficient, improved bio-deliverable multi vitamin won’t make you “happy”. But it will help you live a life of greater choices.
So I communicate this through positive imagery that a client can identify with.
Playing with grandchildren in the park. A little cliché, yes. Find images that are important to your client.
Traveling with a spouse in retirement, and being able to dance, or walk up the steps of a historic landmark. Swim in the Caribbean, in water as warm and clear as a bath.
Being mobile. Not being restricted to a walker….but being able to RUN (at least walk!) well into old age.
If single, imagine attracting a mate to share life’s pleasures with.
Maintain your youth, attractiveness. Keep your hair. Your muscle. Your mobility.
Golf with friends on a bright, sunny fall morning, playing a better game than you did at 40.
Buying or building that mountain cabin, with the amazing view, and feeling really good about your freedom and accomplishments.
Eating good food in an amazing restaurant with a view of the coast, with someone you love.
Better health means more choices.
In my next blog, I’m going to walk through a couple sample conversations, so we can better see how powerful this imagery is, and how it can work for you. Then I want you to start experimenting with the technique yourself. Choose somewhat benign conversations, where you aren’t feeling like you are “risking” a sale or a prospect. Practice “reading” who you are talking to, and finding images/examples that make their eyes light up. It isn’t cheating to ask them leading questions first, to give you some clues. Questions such as, if you could do or be anything/anywhere possible when you’re 65, what would it be?
Yes, your company provides excellent product training, and stresses the importance of personalizing your presentation to your prospect/client. But we are so in love with our products, we forget that our prospects haven’t gone through the information assimilation processes that we all have, with only a single foregone choice of “YES, I choose health!” at the end.
Stop trying to tell your prospect/clients all the scientific reasons they should be healthy. Start giving them emotional reasons, the pursuit of happiness, that your products can help provide.
• We need to arrive at a desire to change our behavior on our own. This was point #5 in...