Positive Marketing is a concept often overlooked by small businesses. I often hear that humans are apt to remember negative things more strongly than positive. The concept, called “negativity bias” states that negative events outweigh positive, even if they are surrounded by positive events. Regardless of the fact that humans are impacted most strongly by the negative, positive marketing sells.
Demonstrating the value your products can bring to your consumer’s life is a motivating sales technique. Vision casting a positive outcome, or highlighting a happy result of using your products will endear your brand to your target consumer. Using fear to motivate a sale, or pointing out why you are better than your competitor puts your brand on the defensive and will build a negative connotation in the mind of your consumer.
My favorite example of positive selling is a little on the older side now but still resonates. KLM Airlines turned the stereotype of “uncaring airlines” on its ear when they created the KLM Surprise campaign. Utilizing Twitter and Foursquare. KLM targeted passengers waiting for one of their flights. Brand representatives looked over the passenger’s social media profiles to learn more about them, and presented them with gifts they could use while they waited for their flight. They filmed the presentations to share on social media, creating positive buzz around the brand.
The Dove Real Beauty campaign is the poster child for positive marketing because it is a beauty company addressing beauty stereotypes by focusing on internal beauty. Their uplifting marketing campaign barely mentions their products, but leaves the consumer feeling as though Dove loves them inside and out. And who can forget the ages old Coke “Teach the World to Sing” campaign that had very little to do with drinking Coke, but created such a warm fuzzy feeling everyone wanted to “buy the world a Coke.”
No matter how tempting it is to showcase your superiority over your competitor, or use fear as a motivator to try your products, it’s never the right solution to associate your brand with negativity. Build a positive campaign around the things your products can do for a customer – make it fun and memorable – and you will create a brand fan for life.
Denise Grothouse is the Founder and President of Perfect Six, a Marketing and Brand Management Firm.
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