The Power of Positive Association in Marketing

The_Power_of_Positive_Association_in_Marketing

It’s the weekend and you’ve had a very busy day shopping. Around 1.00 p.m. you are feeling extremely hungry and must stop to eat. You spot two new restaurants right next to each other. The first one sells Hamburgers and the second one sells Broccoli Soup. Which restaurant will you choose to enter? Why? Most people would enter the Burger Joint even though they have never actually tasted the Burger or the Broccoli Soup. They assume the burger will taste better and be more fulfilling. They associate the burger with an enjoyable experience and are willing to forgo the known health benefits of the broccoli soup for the perceived pleasure from eating a burger.

A Burger in the above example has been successfully marketed and is associated with a satisfactory dining experience.  Marketing that is able to link a product with an experience has the power to attract people like magnet. Concrete images can be effectively used to re-enforce positive messages but the power of words should not be underestimated. People are not interested in the product features per se but they are very interested in the benefits the product gives to them.  For example, no one really needs a Kit-Kat chocolate but almost everyone needs a break. So what does Kit-Kat do? They build a strong association between taking a break and eating Kit-Kat.

Another way to build a powerful positive association between a pleasurable experience and your product is to offer the consumer a trial. This approach works in diverse product categories because it breaks any inhibitions that the user has about your product. Seeing is believing and tasting is consolidating the belief to drive purchase.  Starbucks, for example, regularly makes people sample a mini coffee. Cosmetic companies routinely offer free samples of their new products in retail outlets. AvidTrak also offers to give potential consumers money in their call tracking accounts to start using the software.  In the above examples, there is absolutely no obligation to buy. However, because the consumer has had a taste of the product, he has already built a strong association of the product with a positive experience. When the consumer is ready to buy, a tried and tested product will be her first choice.

All in all, think about your product and the most positive experience you can associate with it. Once you have this sorted, work hard at instilling the image in the potential consumer’s mind.