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The Greatest Way to Grow your Brand (Sell the Problem vs. the Solution)

Marketing

Sasha Lewis

October 23, 2023

It’s common thought that in order to grow a brand financially, you have to sell the solution and transformation. This is popular advice we see circulating the educational content-field on social media, but what if we told you that could actually be what’s holding you back? 

Selling the outcome only works for so long. We all know the outcome we want, what we may not be as privy to is the problem(s) we have. 

Not just surface level problems. The deeply rooted problems only found in therapy (kidding, slightly). 

This is the point of activation.

While understanding the value you offer to your consumers, it’s best to note value is a perception. What impacts one may not impact another. What is more relatable across the board is the reason as to why someone is facing whatever it is that is preventing the ideal situation to occur. 

These indicators are what’s truly holding someone back from eradicating the problem, but until they know what’s causing the circumstance, they have no way of feeling moved enough to take action. 

We could use physical therapy as an example. Let’s say you have ankle pain and chalk it up to anything which doesn’t urge you to take action on it…But if you were to acknowledge the ankle pain and get it diagnosed as a condition, you’d be more inclined to take action knowing there was a solution to fix the condition. 

Humans are wired for survival, we have built in defense mechanisms for protecting ourselves from any type of discomfort. When you illuminate a problem within someone, the initial response is to seek help. 

When you then marketing the problem and follow-up with a solution…That’s where brand growth begins. 

In order to fine-tune your brand funnel and messaging, here is how it’s done…

Make a List of Problems your Products or Services Solve

We’re starting broad – so make a list of any and all problems your brand solves. As you see this list come to life, you want to then go in for each problem and break it out into deeper problems. 

What’s causing this problem? Where is it stemming from? How is it holding someone back? What is the disaster, doom and gloom version of this problem?

Think of this list as a family tree. Each problem has deeper roots. 

As you make this list, take note of what problems are common across your industry and try to spice it up. The problem has to be more expensive than the solution. 

We want to sell problems not inconveniences

Perfect your Messaging

Because you’re speaking directly to the problems your ideal consumers are dealing with, you have to make sure your messaging is relatable. 

This is done by using the same type of language and lingo they use, using words and emotions they are moved by, painting pictures and scenarios that actually are potential and possible in their lives. It has to be as dialed in as possible to where they feel like you are speaking directly to them. Like you have lived in their mind and understood their exact thoughts, fears and wishes. 

When you build out your brand strategy, messaging is a large part of it. So much so, that if you have employees or hire out work, it is imperative to have a brand style guide that includes your messaging outlines. This includes words you use, words you don’t use, emoji’s you use, emoji’s you don’t use, tone of voice, personality, etc. 

The goal of your messaging is to get into the mind of your ideal client/customer. If you are feeling like this is a bit difficult, this is a great time to conduct market research and understand through the right types of questions how to better speak to them and sell to them. 

Create your Value Proposition

Ordinarily, your value proposition would be based on the benefits and solutions you provide, but we want to create a split A/B test moment here. 

For those that don’t know, split testing or A/B testing is a process of testing two versions of collateral and analyzing the metrics to see which works best. 

This is commonly used for subject lines in email marketing, messaging for campaigns, creative direction, and more. We can test two value propositions in selling to see which warrant the best results. 

Your first value proposition on your service, product or offer will be rooted in the solution and outcome. The second one will be more driven on the problem driving that problem-awareness factor. 

While testing these two, you can see which is activating higher conversion rate, engagement rate, inquiry rate, etc. 

Be sure to focus on the differences and what makes your offer unique. 

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People are eager to spend money if it saves them something more valuable in the process. Sometimes that’s time, frustration, and future expenses. When you can tap into what they care about the most and what is blocking them from achieving their goal(s), you are able to grow your brand in a way that is sustainable, predictable and effortless.

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