We don’t need no education..

I’m not sure if Pink Floyd studied marketing but as customers we definitely do need education. An organisation needs to teach consumers why they need a product before attempting to sell it to them. There’s a big difference between marketing to a customer and educating a customer. Many organisations make an assumption that they are educating their customers about their brand/products by pointing out glittering features, specifications and benefits. They often forget about this idea of actually solving their problem. The question here is really, how do organisations educate their customers about their brand over the long term?

Brand

What is a really good example is the Sealy Brand or Sealy Posturepedic as they are also known. The Sealy brand of mattresses has been with us for decades and as their website indicates, they are here to support your life. They are in the business of solving your needs through a restful sleep. Sealy has been educating customers about their brand over time. Yes a great deal of effort has gone into the discussion on springs and you may argue that these are features but as most people will agree when you go and select a new Sealy mattress, an assistant of that store will usually help to address your sleeping requirements first. “Try this bed, how does that feel?, do you have any aches or pains?” Some stores are even fitted out with electronic sensory mattresses where customers can jump on and the computer will assess their posture. Sealy has made some great adverts in the past, this one really speaks for itself, less tech jargon and more on personal touch.

I also like this post from Salesforce and quite rightly, organisations should engage customers and educate them to build brand loyalty. There is a lot that can be done with a simple tweet or post. As a marketer one-third of people will get it straight away, one-third will get it eventually and one-third will never get it!

Cabot Cheese are educating their customers about their products. They have detailed information about their cheeses, recipes and purchase locations but what is really interesting is that a big focus is on the farm family and those who own Cabot. Go on meet the family.

Can you think of a brand that has drawn you to a lifelong commitment? Have you been educated over time? Has it been about what the brand/product can do for you in your world or were you given a long list of jazzy specifications?

“You have to stay true to your heritage, that’s what your brand is about” – Alice Temperley

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4 thoughts on “We don’t need no education..

  1. Hello Raymond,

    I like your post as the concept of education rather than simply selling I believe is getting much closer to the notion of what marketing is actually about. A number of consumers will want to be educated as they are maximisers and want to get what they perceive as the best value, quality etc. However some people are satisficers and do not need to go into as much detail (http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-you-make-decisions-says-a-lot-about-how-happy-you-are-1412614997) when making purchasing decisions.

    This is where I think the point being made about recipes that can be used with the cheeses, as well as the establishment of a personal touch with the “Go on meet the family” aspect. This then appeals to the different personality aspects of people who are not necessarily maximisers

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  2. Products are all about satisfying consumer needs/wants or addressing/providing solutions to problems a consumer have.

    It therefore follows that consumers should be educated about how the product works and why they need it. Most advertising focuses on changing consumer perceptions on products without actually trying to educate consumers on what the product can do for them.

    In Zimbabwe we have Royco Soup which has a huge consumer following because their commercials educate consumers on the best uses of their product. They even feature weekly recipes that can be used with their product.That’s a product i can easily get “committed” to!

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  3. Is education about why you need a prodcut really education? It is selective – the company behind the product are educating you, it’s not general information you can use in your eaveryday life like counting or reading, It’s targeted at the consumer & the information is one sided, from the company who is telling you what they want to know about the product & what you can do with it etc. Is it unbiased? Is there really scientific evidence to support the information? The Checkout Thursday 09/04/15 did a great piece on Sponsored Scientific Studies.
    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/thecheckout/episodes/s03ep01.htm#
    What The Checkout does is education! Recipes etc are useful & make sense, the rest? Call me a sceptic.

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