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Selling The Dream Part 1

Is your product satisfying your customers' dreams? Here are three top criteria to test it against to see if it checks out.

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Connecting with your customers' imaginations has become an obligatory path to business success. They're no longer content just satisfying their needs-they want to fulfill their dreams as well.

When attempting to create a product that you hope will fulfill your customers' dreams, keep the following points in mind:

  • Interpret the spirit of the time to understand which dreams will capture the customer. Dreams are shaped by culture. By integrating their intuition into an organization, a company can better tune into the times. Just as artists search endlessly and randomly for inspiration, a company should constantly explore unrelated fields and approach business eclectically in order to create dreams. It's hardly surprising that the companies with the most eclectic approach to business are ground-breakers when it comes to initiating trends and tastes.
  • Create products and services designed and engineered to convey intense emotions. Companies cannot survive merely by satisfying consumer needs. Today, most companies can provide zero-defect products that perfectly perform their function. This is no longer a differentiating quality that, on its own, can sway the customer. Companies that rely strictly on marketing and discounts to promote otherwise common products will never win any emotional hold on their customers' minds. To achieve the type of commercial success that establishes a brand for years to come, a company has to infuse its products and services with emotional qualities that connect with their customers' strongest desires.
  • Practice "dreamketing." No matter how fantastic a product is, it cannot stand alone to represent a dream. A dream is not a product, it is an experience. Reaching the market is no longer enough: You have to touch (in an emotional sense) your customers' imagination. The first concern of the "dreamketer" should be to create an evocative and seductive brand, one that can spark desire and set the customer's mood. Since customers should never be awakened from their dreams, the dreamketer should ensure that the company's communication, distribution, special events and any type of customer relations consistently support the brand's mission to build that dream in customers' minds.