Monday, May 31, 2010


The answer is, not likely. Character is the secret ingredient used in creating a remarkable selling proposition. A remarkable selling proposition, as defined by me is one that is perceived as a breakthrough by your target consumer. It can manifest itself in one of four ways when conveying your selling proposition. It can be in the form of words, graphics, sound or structural. The procedure for adding "remarkability" to your selling proposition is simple. You try adding character to the different elements of your selling proposition until one or more work. By elements I am referring to a sub-brand, a generic descriptor, a key graphic, an endorsement, a benefit, an attribute and so on.

Some categories are all but void of character. Gas stations, plumbers, dry cleaners, drug stores, hardware stores, and shoe repair shops are among many others. Have you ever noticed when you drive down the street, how generic the information is that you are exposed to? Retail stores are the worst offenders but there are those few who pull it off.

There is a shoe repair shop about ten blocks from my office. The owner turned his car into a giant boot that he parks in-front of the store daily. He added character.

 There is a plumber in Los Angeles  CA who created a tag line that adds character. He says, “I guarantee my plumbers will show up on time and smell good.” He added character. There is a national men’s clothing retailer who added an advertising tag line to his selling proposition. He says, “You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.” He added character. When the Yoplait marketers wanted to sell yogurt to kids, they added character to the delivery system, the sub-brand, the generic descriptor and the key graphic, they too added character.

There is a significant residual benefit to adding character that is very important. There is a direct relationship between the presence of character and that of loyalty. You show me a selling proposition with little character and I will show you a group of consumers with low loyalty. These consumers will likely bail out in favor of a competitive product or service that has more character appeal. If you stop and review the brands and products that you are currently loyal to, chances are they have character that you relate to. Brands with little character are frankly boring. You and I don’t collect boring friends nor do we warm up to boring brands and products. If you look even closer you will notice that the products and services you patronize, those that have little character, are most likely very convenient or very cheap.

The learning here is that you can add power to your selling proposition simply by adding character. You don’t have to increase advertising or sale promotion or change your product or service in any way. Simply take exactly what you are currently selling and look for positioning elements that you can alter to add character.


Keith Chambers

Keynote Marketing Speaker
Creative Marketing Consultant
(310) 473-0010

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