David LaBonte came up with the concept of his book, “Shiny Objects Marketing,” several years ago while listening to a speaker drone on about a complex marketing theory.

“I thought, ‘Come on! It’s simpler than that,” says LaBonte, president of AdMatrix, an Orange County-based marketing firm. “Make your brand a shiny object, and you’ll sell truckloads.”

In the book, LaBonte explains how to make any product, service or brand irresistible and how to generate the urge for customers to grab it and not let go.

LaBonte gave Smart Business a peek at his five secrets for attracting customers by making your brand a shiny object.

1. Grab their attention. Catching the eye of your customer is the most obvious of the shiny object facets. But we are not merely concerned about creating a casual distraction. The operative question for this facet is: What will cause your customers to stop dead in their tracks and take notice of what you are selling?

To accomplish this facet, you must present the shiny object in its best light. This requires excellent design, constant attention, appearances where your customers will see it and a clear, concise message.

2. Create a driving curiosity. The second facet is to hold a person’s attention long enough to deliver the rest of the shiny object. The overriding question is: What will make your prospects want to invest their time and efforts to take a closer look?

Some time-proven techniques to accomplish this are to ask a probing question, make an alluring promise, give a brief peek into your product, make a provocative statement, issue a dare or challenge, use humor, display some forbidden fruit, or tap in to a fear factor.

3. Stimulate an irrepressible urge to touch. The third shiny object facet should inspire the customer to take action in order to draw them deeper. The driving question for this facet is: How do you get your prospects to reach out and try your product?

Some ways to make this happen include: making an offer, distributing samples, providing a demo, holding a seminar or giving a free trial.

4. Activate emotion. The fourth shiny object facet is all about getting people to experience your brand, product or service — not just to try it. The driving question is: Which emotions, evoked by interaction with my product, will lead to a sale?

Every purchase, no matter how technical or rational it may seem, has an emotional factor. I have successfully marketed semiconductors, electronic test equipment, property management services, title insurance and a host of other products that might seem to have no bearing on emotions. Yet, these companies were all successful in their marketing efforts because they discovered the right emotional button that connected their prospects’ view of a shiny object to their product.

5. Demand ownership. The fifth shiny object facet is not just to sell your product but also to create such a strong relationship between your product and your customer that the customer literally demands ownership. The driving question here is: What will make your prospects want to grab your product and not let go?

Some time-proven methods to engender this demand for ownership include the following:

  • Consistently meet or exceed the promise of your product or service
  • Create a sense of immediacy
  • Instill comfortable familiarity — make it emotionally difficult to leave your product
  • Provide uncommon courtesy
  • Sweat the small stuff

David LaBonte is a seasoned marketing professional with more than 30 years of experience. President of AdMatrix, an Orange-based marketing/advertising agency, LaBonte teaches marketing techniques to clients nationally. LaBonte conducts “Shiny Objects Marketing” workshops to help companies implement the concept of his book. Learn more at www.shinyobjectsmarketing.com.

Published in Orange County
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