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Why Problems Are More Powerful Than Products Companies spend big budgets on promoting products, but sales come from focusing on what really drives decisions.

By Andrea Olson Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A study by Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman showed that most decisions are based 90% on emotion and only 10% on logic. However, when companies promote their products and services, the message almost always focuses on logic, highlighting generic features, benefits and statistics. The result is often lackluster because emotion isn't addressed.

Take the example of promoting a technical product for an industrial audience. A social media post or traditional advertisement will likely highlight efficiency and safety, outlining features such as seamless connectivity and reduced downtime. It will likely include common terms, including "game-changing," "intuitive design," and "robust solution." It will also highlight generic benefits such as "built for demanding environments," "elevates workflow," and "maximizes efficiency."

This generic content and messaging fail to provide two things — one, a clear and compelling problem the audience needs to solve, and two, an emotional thread to build relatability and a sense of urgency. Often overlooked, these two basic elements are critical to communication success. However, most organizations get caught up in an internal mindset — where internal language and terminology get applied to external messaging. This includes all those generic benefits, which mean very little to both employees and customers.

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