Don't Just Tell Me What You Do, Tell Me What You Do For Me
This is one of my favorite marketing maxims: “don’t just tell me what you do, tell me what you do for me.”
My favorite example in action is on the back of the bottle of Decoy wine. It reads: “everyday wine for the well informed.”
I wrote about Decoy back on March 16 and promised to revisit the brand soon.
Decoy’s marketing is brilliant in general.
A downmarket offering of the highly-respected Napa wine house Duckhorn, Decoy is mostly red wine that tastes great at around $20, depending on the varietal. Importantly, it tastes good.
Decoy targets someone, perhaps a beer drinker, who feels like an impostor in the wine aisle. They feel like they’re faking it — hence the name, Decoy.
Worried about picking the right wine? Don’t be.
Feel like a decoy? We feel like one too. We’re $20 Duckhorn, after all.
Decoy is what your fancy wine friends drink on the daily.
Decoy is also what those fancy wine friends serve on Thanksgiving to family they love but who won’t appreciate the difference.
You’ll always get a smile when your dinner host opens the door and you hand them a bottle of Decoy.
And congratulations, the back of the label seems to say, and welcome. By virtue of having purchased this bottle, you’re well-informed too.
Decoy helps you pretend well.
Decoy knows they’re not in the wine business. They’re in the status business.
Often marketers and entrepreneurs leave off too early. They don’t dig deep enough to understand their customer’s true intense need and true psychological reality, settling for the surface level version instead.
Buying a bottle of wine is almost never about buying a bottle of wine. SOULCycle isn’t in the workout business.
What’s the biggest difference between REI and Patagonia? One of their customers is actually camping this weekend, in all likelihood. The other is peddling a possibility.
At one point a decade go Walmart stopped talking about rolling back prices and started talking about “living better.”
I loved that move. Yes, at face value Walmart help you save money. But what does that do in turn?
Walmart’s brand promise is that they’ll help you live a life that outperforms the number on your paycheck. In their own way, Walmart is selling luxury.
Marketers and entrepreneurs who don’t really know “what you do for me” resort to describing their own navel instead. They’re proud, and likely self-impressed. This is particularly true in the science and technology space.
But customers just don’t care — not really. Customers care about themselves far more than any product or brand, as well they should.
My friend Tim Fish is a big proponent of the “jobs to be done” framework, which is another way to attack this issue. What job am I hiring this wine to do?
I like to summon my inner three year old, impersonating my relentlessly curious daughters as best I can. Why daddy? Why? Why?
I love this about kids. They like to get to the root of things. And if you pay attention closely enough, you’ll find they’re damn fine marketers, too.