Sellerscast: How To Sell Your Brand But Not Your Product


On January 29th, 2019 our own Andrew Maff, Director of Marketing, sat down with our own Gina Milazzo, Head of Accounts, to talk about how to sell your brand but not your product. 



Andrew Maff:  Sellers cast, what's up? My name's Andrew.

Gina Milazzo:  My name's Gina.

Andrew Maff:  Today, we are talking about how to sell your brand, but not your product and we're gonna tell you why.

Gina Milazzo:  Sounds crazy, what? What does it mean?

Andrew Maff:  Wow, so here's why ... Jack's with us again. So here's why we want to talk about this one. We get this question all the time. I find it to be difficult to explain. Maybe it's also just because I can't articulate anything anymore but, it's basically why is that selling. Overselling stuff is obnoxious and typically doesn't work and just blending in and being at the right place at the right time, does work. [crosstalk 00:00:52]. He loves to be in these. So let's use Facebook ads as an example right?

So running an ad that says, "20% off now, buy it now or you're gonna miss out. Running out of stock."

Gina Milazzo:  "Get it or we'll cut your left foot off."

Andrew Maff:  "Yeah, I will stab you if you don't buy it." Like, whoa dude, calm down. It's kinda like the old sales car guy, salesman approach. You don't want to walk into a dealership and all of a sudden get bombarded by 15 people who want to sell you 500 things [crosstalk 00:01:22]. The consumer wants to feel like they made the decision and you were just at the right place at the right time. So some of the best ads that we've been able to run have been ones where we were just showcasing the brand and maybe said one or two things about the product but nothing crazy and then that was it. They're like, "Hey, it's here if you need it," is basically kinda how I look at it. I feel like you describe it a little bit better than I do.

Gina Milazzo:  I think especially with socializing in particular. You know, people are kind of shutting their brain off a little bit. Maybe they have some downtime for lunch or something. So they're scrolling and really people are subscribed to brain content already so you're kind of filling in the gaps of things that they want to look at. So you don't want to make yourself standout from the things that they're already willingly consuming.

They're looking at a new shirt from their favorite brand and then maybe like a new release from their favorite, some other company. You don't want to be within the gaps with like a big aggressive sales push. It kinda pulls them out a little bit. I think people are already submerged in social media and you wanna kinda keep them relaxed. Just passively consuming I guess.

Andrew Maff:  It's kind of like the whole ... it is really a community building thing. It's kind of a we relate to you, this is why we have this product because we are also like-minded individuals and we think that this works really well and you may too. It's kind of like the best way to look at that. So again, I know a couple videos ago, I used rock climbing as an example. I don't rock climb, don't know why I'm using this as an example, but instead of being like, "Hey, here's 10% off a rope," which I assume rock climbers need.

So like, "Here's 10% off, go buy it, do this, blah, blah." It's like "Whoa, no." But a video or an image of a guy with a really sturdy rope and just some simple copy that's just like I always use this.

Gina Milazzo:  Some of your next mountain. Like just more lifestyle driven. What is the value that you're offering in that super sturdy rope?

Andrew Maff:  Yeah, exactly.

Gina Milazzo:  The value is not the 10% off. The value is that it's sturdy.

Andrew Maff:  Exactly. So it's not selling the product itself. It's selling the concept of the product or the solution that the product provides.

Gina Milazzo:  Yeah, definitely.

Andrew Maff:  I can't even really think of a product where this doesn't come into play.

Gina Milazzo:  Can't be a single one. I think makeup companies do this especially well because most of the time, it has nothing to do with the product. They won't even show the products, just a girl's face with the makeup on. So you're like, "Oh my God, I wanna look like her." Like perfect example, it's just aspirational, kind of sliding in, it fits in very natively into the feed. It's very natural.

Andrew Maff:  I feel like the only ones where you still have to sell a little bit of the product if it's a wildly differentiated product so [crosstalk 00:04:04], yeah, people don't really know what it is, so there's a certain level of consumer education there but if it's a consumable, and you know how many fricking bottles of water there are? It's water. Like yeah, but now it's in a box. Great, it's still water.

Gina Milazzo:  It's a big deal now.

Andrew Maff:  So exactly. It's just a matter of [crosstalk 00:04:22] selling the lifestyle to a certain person. You're literally ... People have repackaged these same products, 50, 60 times and just branded it to a different audience. So it is all about your audience, it's not about the product. Obviously you have to have a great product, that kinda comes standard. But the selling approach is selling the brand, selling the lifestyle, the product comes last.

Gina Milazzo:  I think we're at the point now with marketing that people assume a certain level of defensiveness if they do see a sales approach too. That it's like, "Oh my God, why are they trying to tell me so many things about their product? It looks good, I would've just believed it if they just showed me what it looked like."

Andrew Maff:  Yeah. It's kind of like when you were younger and you lie to your parents and you continue to add on more to the story that's really unnecessary. You're like, "No, I didn't do that, you know how I know, 'cause it was a Tuesday and it was raining, plus I was in that blue shirt. You know that blue shirt." It's just like "Whoa, like you're giving me so much information that's starting to throw up red flags."

Gina Milazzo:  It makes the hair on the back of your neck go up a little. Like you start to be like, "Oh God, oh it's an ad."

Andrew Maff:  Yeah, just be comfortable with it and that's it. Plus, I know when it comes to social ads, Zuckerberg came out a couple years ago, maybe it was longer at this point, where he basically said, he wants ads to really look like they just blend in to the newsfeed so that the user experience doesn't change.

Gina Milazzo:  Exactly.

Andrew Maff:  So usually the ads that do best are the ones that kind of just blend in. It looks like maybe even a friend posted. You come across and be like, "Oh wait, it's a sponsor." [crosstalk 00:05:48].

Gina Milazzo:  "Oh cool, I don't know what this is. Oh I never really read it before. Oh maybe I did hear of this brand before because I got look alike targeted by someone that looked at it already."

Andrew Maff:  Exactly. So of course the ones that I see all the time because I'm always on these marketing sites are these marketing coach guys and the reason their ads tend to work well is because their content is like a novel and it really when you come across it, it looks like, "Oh, one of my friends is on a crazy rant again." They're like, "This is great." And then I'm like, "Oh it's some guy selling me his funnel." So it is a matter of selling the concept and then making it just seem seamless. Like it's just like, "Hey, this product's here if you need it," kinda thing.

Gina Milazzo:  We exist, check us out.

Andrew Maff:  Great. What tool do we want to feature? We didn't think this way through?

Gina Milazzo:  No.

Andrew Maff:  We talked a lot about social ads. Hootsuite. The Hootsuite, use Hootsuite to schedule stuff. We are a Hootsuite company and we use it for social ads and things like that. Track everything. It's awesome, easy scheduling, easy reporting, easy analytics. If you're big on social, use Hootsuite.

Gina Milazzo:  Hoot, hoot.

Andrew Maff:  I hope they don't see that. Thanks again. Again, just like all the other ones, please comment below, let us know, A, what you thought of the video and then B, of course, let us know if there's something you'd like us to talk about or not talk about and we will see you all next time. Thank you.

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