Chapters 17 & 18 – “Building Brand YOU!” – by Omar Abedin

Chapter 17 Owning a powerful benefit (what is the ‘itch’ that only Brand YOU can scratch for your consumer?)

What is a benefit? A paycheck? A social service cheque? Unemployment payments? How about a bonus payment at the end of the year? Yes, these are benefits of a sort. But the type of benefit we are talking about is different. What benefit do YOU – the brand – offer to your consumers?

The benefit we are talking about is the consumer’s real reward that they get from your being a part of their lives. It goes much beyond money, a home, food and clothing, toys and other ‘things’. They can get those things elsewhere. Sometimes, they can get much more elsewhere – hence the high divorce rate prevalent in society today.

No, we are talking about providing a real scratch for an itch that the consumer has – and you are the scratcher. We are talking about the result of a deep understanding of what your consumer – your boss, your family, your co-workers – need and are currently missing in their lives, and being able to fill that gap, scratch that itch for them in such a way that the result is nothing short of a gigantic AAAAHHHHH for them.

Are you with me? Good. But, how do you go about building your ‘owned benefit’?

Start by reviewing your capsule. What was the core idea there? You have to push past the simple descriptive features of what you offer – these can be replicated and matched easily enough. No, you need to offer real benefits, and there are three types of benefits that you can offer:

1. Functional Advantage:
a. Brand X – ‘Helps you go longer, stronger…’
b. Brand Y – ‘Strengthens the digestive tract!’
c. Brand YOU – ‘Makes sure his family has the best lifestyle money can buy!”

2. Emotional Payoff
a. Brand X – ‘You will feel primed to pounce on every opportunity!’
b. Brand Y – ‘It will give you wings!’
c. Brand YOU – ‘Stands by her spouse through thick and thin!’

3. Experiential Reward
a. Brand X – ‘You’ll feel that second wind kick in…’
b. Brand Y – ‘Tastes like a blast of cold Rocky Mountain air…’
c. Brand YOU – ‘When I delegate a task to her, I have total peace of mind because I know it’s going to be done!’

Your owned benefit must meet the following criteria:

1. Is it Desirable: “I want that!”

No explanation should be required. It should answer the simple question – ‘What’s in it for me?’

2. Is it Deliverable: “I can tell this person can do what they say”

Will the consumer see the promise as being fulfilled? Don’t disappoint your consumers… you will lose them!

3. Is it Defensible: “Only this person owns this, and it is unique to them”

Can you own the association? It must be seen as your promise, and nobody else’s!

Remember – the benefit you own must be singular. The old adage of “you can’t be all things to all people” is never more true than here. Choose carefully.

A quick look at the technical difference between a Feature, a Function & a real Benefit might be helpful at this stage, as you start to work out your unique owned benefit, because the sad thing is that even seasoned marketers sometimes get this wrong.

1. Feature: a descriptive fact – something a product HAS.

E.g. The car you drive, the suit you wear, the accessories you carry.

2. Function: an operational advantage – something a product does.

E.g. The charities you support, the job you do, the sports you play.

3. Benefit: the real reward from the features & functions.

E.g. the real itch that you scratch for your consumer, which comes from what kind of a person you are, the values you hold. That makes you the father you are, the boss, the co-worker and the colleague.

Let me introduce you to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow postulated a theory that has come to be central to helping marketers understand consumer behaviour as it pertains to brands. It basically says that there are five stages of needs that all human beings evolve through:

Maslows Heirarchy of Needs

The hierarchy helps us to understand the way our needs – and those of our target consumers – develop and evolve over time, and in different situations. Why is this important? Because the benefit we offer our consumer has to answer that need – and any tool that can help us to reach a better understanding of needs and need states must be used!

Basically, the model says that until basic physiological needs – food, water, shelter etc. – are met, we cannot worry about higher level needs, such as health, friendship, self-esteem or overcome our prejudices… indeed, the hierarchy is a very powerful tool to help us understand ourselves and our reactions in various situations as well.

Look at the hierarchy – what happens when one level of needs is not met? Is it possible for someone to be successful in love when he or she is concerned about his or her safety and wellbeing?

So, if you are to be successful in offering a true benefit to your consumer, you need to truly understand your consumers’ as well as possible. Since we are talking about multiple consumers, you need to really dig deep and build a broad-based understanding that will stand you in good stead as you try to offer benefits that make you irreplaceable in the lives of those people.

Another useful tool is called the “mental mirror”. Here’s how it works:

a. HOW DO THEY FEEL NOW?
b. HOW ARE YOU MAKING THEM FEEL?

a. Sheepishly confused by the complexity of financial documents
b. Publicly confident with the ease of the numbers as explained by you, their go-to person for accounting enigmas

a. Defeated & lost because of the flu
b. Calm and relaxed, resting in bed, knowing that everything will be alright

a. Exhausted & bitter from lack of sleep because the baby is teething, and crying all night
b. Positively refreshed by the respite that you bring by staying up all night with the baby

a. Dejected by the onset of old age
b. Jubilant at the way you make them feel about their future

Take your time with this. Identifying the real benefit Brand YOU offers, or are going to offer is central – and vital – to your long-term success.

Chapter 18 RTB (Reason-To-Believe – why should anyone buy what you’re selling?)

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need an RTB – a reason for people to accept the unique brand that is YOU. They would simply see YOU for what you are – an invaluable, irreplaceable part of their lives.

Unfortunately, that is often not the way it is. People can be quite cynical sometimes, specially when the new Brand Identity you have developed and are trying to bring to life is a significant deviation from what you have demonstrated and owned in the past. At least initially, it will need some convincing – and a good Reason To Believe can be essential part of your new Brand ID.

If you can do without, please do. If you can’t, then remember to keep it simple. Ask yourself if your consumer will demand ‘proof’ of what you have promised – the benefit you will deliver. If the answer is “Yes”, then choose the simplest proof that is directly related to the benefit – and the key word is ‘simple’.

There are three major criteria to keep in mind when selecting a powerful RTB:

1. Is it plausibly unique?

Is it unique, first? If not, then it could be hard to own. For example: ‘dependable’. You might indeed embody this trait, but can you own it entirely? And second, is it uniquely true about YOU? Only YOU? If it isn’t, then it may not work. Now if you can tweak it so that ‘dependable’ becomes something more, then it might be more powerful. “Never misses a ball game”. “Never fails to deliver insightful commentary that is bound to have you in stitches.” And so on.

2. Is it persuasive?

Does the Reason to Believe that you have come up with really ‘prove’ the benefit? Will your consumer nod his or her head upon hearing this and say – yes, I get that! If not, probably needs a bit of re-thinking. Remember, if it is needed at all, it must be convincing, or it is worse than useless.

3. Is it a ‘put-away’ shot?

Does it nail the positioning as YOURS? Is it a slam-dunk? Again, if it isn’t, then perhaps don’t bother with it at all. Because this is your final attempt to convince someone of the benefit of starting / continuing to engage with your brand, and after this, there is nothing else left in your arsenal. It better work.

Where can you find a “Reason To Believe” that meets the criteria above? Here are some possible areas:

1. Is there something about you that is unique – anything? How about your heritage? Ethnicity? Education? Experience? Character? Personality? Passions? All or any of these might make an interesting start point. Remember, what and who you are IS actually unique – and if you are struggling to find a uniqueness, its only because you have never actually looked at yourself in this way before. Also, if you are struggling to define your own uniqueness – guess how hard it must be for someone else to identify what makes you into a brand worthy of attention and engagement?

2. What are your passions? What do you believe in, strive for, drive towards? Are you a scoutmaster? A calligrapher? A football coach for the local primary school? These passions can provide a unique and compelling RTB that supports the benefit you are trying to own.

3. Who are the people that choose to be with you – choose your ‘brand’ – and why? Do they ‘get’ the benefit that you want to offer and own, or is it for other reasons? E.g. do you want people to acknowledge you for your creativity – but the real reason that they hang with you is that you are wealthy and can spend money fecklessly when you are with them? Or are you striving to be recognized for your accounting skills – but the boss only sees you as someone safe to flirt with (because you might not openly reject him / her for fear of consequences).

So, in a nutshell – have an RTB only if you must have one. Having said that, if your desired Brand Identity requires a significant departure from the Identity you currently have (not the one you THINK you have) then you will almost certainly need a powerful Reason To believe. And it better be a slam-dunk.

Because after you present your RTB, that’s it… if your target audience still doesn’t buy into Brand YOU, then they are probably never going to. Let’s hope that it doesn’t come to that, but if it does, I will do my best to help you re-evaluate the work you have done so far, and get you on the right track. My e-mail is omar at brandhotline.com. Hopefully, you won’t need my help, but if you do, I’m here to help.

145 thoughts on “Chapters 17 & 18 – “Building Brand YOU!” – by Omar Abedin

  1. The benefit that my core consumers get from having me in their lives are as follows:
    – Media planning expertise to solve the challenges that the brands are facing
    – Make my consumers look good and feel good about themselves by designing their clothes.

    Each one of us can offer functional benefits, Emotional Payoff and emotional reward to our consumers. The key is understand what exactly do we offer within these heads and how do we do that?

    Maslow’s hierarchy of needs simply helps us define the needs of our consumers. In order to establish a strong brand positioning, we need to identify the needs that we can fulfill and then a set clearly defined path to fulfill those needs for our consumers. All these need to be perfectly packaged by powerful RTBs which should be aligned to our brand positioning. These RTBs can be different for each of us but should serve the same purpose.

  2. Every core consumer of my brand will be at a different level of maslow’s hierarchy. so what If I wrongly identify the exact level of my core consumer on maslow’s hierarchy?

    secondly my core consumer will be having their own likes and dislikes. My functional benefit could be okay for everyone but emotional benefit and experience may vary from consumer to consumer.

    “you cant be everything to everyone”

  3. Some of the very interesting facts have been highlighted in the above two chapters. Firstly talking about the itch you scratch for your consumers. In my view I think the first thing that should be done is to keep your ego aside and think just like your consumer. Rightly said in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that we should be knowing what are the needs of our consumers. And to that you have to take unbiased observations and be patient. Such things are difficult but the results are amazing. But do keep in mind that one should not change oneself for their consumers rather you have to make your consumers to accept how you are or in other words what is that unique thing in you.

    Talking about uniqueness, RTB is the cherry on top. Once your consumers are aware of the benefits you are offering, they must have a reason to believe in you to seal the deal. If there is no reason to believe then it is a possibility that in later times you would only become a commodity for them. Think about your friends who claimed to be your bestest some years ago and now they are nowhere to be seen.

  4. As pointed out in the chapters, Uniqueness is what makes you prominent and differentiate you from others. Each and every one of us are unique and posses a special quality, we need to identify that quality and make our core consumers benefit from it. I believe giving experiential benefit to your consumers will make your presence memorable and prominent.

  5. This chapter has given me an absolutely different perspective about what benefits we ive to our target consumers. This chapter talks about functional and emotional benefits we give to our friends, colleagues and family which is pretty scary to talk about. In it essence its true and i feel everyone has gone through the stages of either lacking some emotional benefit in a relationship or missing out the functional part. After reading this chapter i seriously need to figure out a combo of both for all my core consumers

  6. For building our owned benefit the Functional advantage, emotional payoff and experiential reward (types of benefits) are very vital to understand.Criteria for owned benefit is very well explained.
    Secondly knowing consumers’needs is very vital for the success of any brand as those brands that fullfill consumers’needs are successful otherwise may go to waste.
    Mental mirror is very well explained and is a good tool to consider.
    Every unique property or change in features or benefits of brand has to have a reason to explain what it is and why.As consumers understands reason then brand will be a great success.If RTB is weak then brand will be failed
    Thankyou

  7. You must offer a benefit to your customer, a benefit which is recognized and valued by the Consumer. Anything will be percieved as a benefit, if it fulfils one’s need. Therefore, identify consumers, whose needs could be fulfiled by you, and in the second place give them a strong reason to believe the unique benefits Offered by you.

  8. Obviously one that has a powerful and unique benefit for their brand they should have a reason to believe in that benefit which people can easily relate to. If we know what exactly our customer wants and needs are like in the maslows hierarchy, we can guve them a solution or scratch the itch that they have with that particular benefit which is important to them.

  9. We have always learned in marketing that how important is to identify the real needs of our consumers & try to address them with perfection in order to succeed. Same goes with the marketing of your personal brand, it’s necessary to determine the stage of your consumers (as discussed with Maslo’s Hierarchy of Needs) so we may full fill & try do the things accordingly. As you move on with the pyramid your needs change.

  10. It is very hard to pin down a single, unique and believable benefit that you can provide to your core consumers. For this a rigorous study has to be carried out on the needs of your consumers which might change over time due to a number of factors. As it is impossible to offer something to everyone, your core consumer is actually the only one you’re catering to. This should help to make it a little easier.

    In my case, I am only a fashion stylist for people who are interested in fashion but are unable to make their own fashion choices. The RTB could be that they have known me for this benefit since a very long time (Heritage) and have had good experiences with me when it comes to fashion related solutions.

  11. This chapter definitely makes clear the concept of meeting the criteria of “owned benefit”. You need to make sure that the benefit the brand YOU is offering is desirable and it has the power to convince its consumers that its unique and will deliver the promise it is making.

    Maslow’s hierarchy helps us in identifying the needs of our consumers at each stage and therefore making it easier for us to satisfy them.

  12. Kept thinking about political parties while I was reading the section about reason to believe. Have heard many political speeches that say, “We have done X, Y and Z in the past tenure so BELIEVE in us and cast your votes in our favour.”
    I feel that the perceptions you hold about a brand and their reason to believe are very much linked to each other. If I feel brand A promises a certain thing that it doesn’t deliver, I will definitely stop buying/using it.

  13. This chapter in other words lays importance on knowing your target consumer down to the core. As the Maslows hierachy helps us identify – the benefit must be unique and sought by the people if its benefits are to be reaped. Knowing what benefit to give to what type of consumer is all about knowing the psychology of your consumer. These in a nutshell should be strongly grounded by the RTB which then instills your TA to think that they are not any better off without the product/service.

  14. To offer something “unique” to my consumers or target market is challenging. Even if I do manage to pin it down to something which I consider “unique” – I feel I must constantly think of how I can improve and work on this as my competition may not be far off. Nowadays, competition is hard core and consumers can be brutal. Most of the brands which we see today have been around for years. However, they were actually unique and new back then. It is mind boggling to think of how one can provide a truly UNIQUE service to people who are already exposed to so much! Not to mention, to always exceed their expectations to keep them ‘hooked’ on the brand.

  15. Identifying the core consumer’s and identifying what they really need is a very difficult and effort requiring task. But if one work according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs we can easily identify the core consumer’s and need’s.
    The Functional advantage, emotional payoff and experiential reward are very important to understand and at some stage of our life we had provided our consumer’s with these benefits but what we lack a UNIQUE quality among with all these so that our consumer’s could also be happy and in return we also get an owned benefit.
    Last but not the least the REASON TO BELIEVE what we are offering is also important and if we don’t work on it we can lose our consumer’s. Quite interesting chapter hope to get more knowledge in coming topics.

  16. With each benefit, every brand needs to effectively communicate the ‘reason to believe’ to its consumer. But with the Reason to Believe, also comes the Heritage of the brand, which gives a slight positive push to the consumer and sort of strengthens their beliefs and perception they hold of the particular brand. Maslows hierarchy makes all of this easier as it enables one to identify the needs of the target consumer so that the brand can scratch the itch.

  17. I believe products are designed specially to deliver some benefit. Without a benefit a product would fail and the same can be applied to humans. We must know the benefit we offer, I think every person has different benefits attached to them but majority of the people don’t acknowledge that they are offering something unique to the people around them. Reason to believe comes from experience, if I had a good experience with a brand I am more likely to buy its other products and believe in the benefits as I will rely on my past experience with the brand.

  18. In today’s day and age, it is common for individuals to aim high having a hold over the basic necessities resulting in dissatisfaction with yourself and that is where Maslow’s theory makes sense of the step by step accomplishments over the course of time and you feel the ladder you are climbing to reach your ultimate goal.
    The concept of the owned benefit, strengthens your own belief in yourself, hence another individual will have faith and believe in you.

  19. It’s very difficult to actually think of a unique benefit and then to OWN it is another level of difficult altogether.
    I don’t think I would personally know my own benefit till I actually go to my target audience and ask them, can you do that though? Talk to your consumers and find out what your X factor is?

  20. Owning a powerful benefit and giving anyone a reason to believe as a brand is very difficult. Shedding some light on the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I think every consumer stands in that pyramid at a different level. same is the case with having a powerful benefit and giving any a reason to believe about yourself as a brand. I for some I am a funny person the other might consider my benefit as someone who cares. One’s perception about a brand can be completely different from other about the same brand.

  21. Chapter 17 is about benefits we can offer to our consumer, which must be desirable, deliverable and defensible. Every brand can have the first 2 D’s. However 3rd D pertains to uniqueness. To determine the benefits which must be offered with the product, we should always keep in mind the maslow’s hierarchy of needs and at which hierarchy our consumers are.

    Chapter 18 is about having a reason to believe about the benefits which the brand can offer. If we believe that benefits we can offer are not unique and so will like to offer the same. The benefits we are gonna offer will develop a brand identity and if we want to bring changes to the identity, due to the changes in the target audience, there has to be a reason to believe.

  22. Funnily enough when they ask me in interviews about myself, I always tell them about my love for pop culture. It is something that I definitely own and I feel is something that sets me apart no matter how insignificant sometimes I feel it is when put against the bigger things in life. BUT, it’s always a way I’ve been able to connect with people, the benefit being that people have found it entertaining. I’m often the go to person for recommendation and I’ve always enjoyed it since it is one of my strongest passions.

  23. The two chapters talk about two components of positioning statement: Unique benefit and Reason to Believe. In identifying the unique benefit we see that what requirement of our our target market we can cater to and how unique our brand would be in doing so. That would set our brand apart from the competition. Similarly reason to believe tells why the target market should believe that the brand would provide with what it promises. Both components are equally important and must be carefully formed by brand managers.

  24. The two concepts provided in these chapters, the benefit your customer see in the product you are offering and how he or she can relate it to it which creates a belief that your brand is all about him and it can provide him the benefit that nothing else can provide.Very simply put in these two chapters which provides a guide to any brand manager or any person who wants to create a brand of its own to analyse the brand by putting him or herself in the customers shoes.

  25. A brand can act as a problem solver for its audience. The benefit it offers can be a functional, emotional or an experiential benefit. This benefit it offers allows its consumer to differentiate from other brands they use. It stays in the mind of the the audience due to prior experience. Not just that but a brand should also give the audience Reasons to believe which portray its uniqueness and persuades them into buying it.

  26. The above two chapters explain how a products uniqueness can affect its overall outcome. If the customer fails to understand the benefit he/she is getting then the product has failed. It is very important for any brand to have a certain amount of uniqueness which the customers can identify & believe in.

  27. Although the benefit allows the customers to differentiate and reason to believe gives you that uniqueness but one should not forget to deliver those benefits and portray those unique attributes with consistency otherwise it will all be in vain.

  28. A product should provide some powerful benefit either functional, emotional or experiential to which customers can relate to at any point in time. This powerful benefit should not only be desirable but also deliverable at the same time. The most important thing is the difference between how the consumers actually believe and how are you making them feel. The difference should be as minimum as possible in order to enjoy the presence of a powerful benefit.
    This powerful benefit should transform into the reason to believe for the people to accept the brand that it is. This reason has to be unique as well as convincing.

  29. If we talk about this in a practical scenario, who is supposed to give inputs / decide on powerful benefits? Should it be Product Development, Customer Services, or pure Marketing guys? or sum of all three?

  30. I think the saying “money attracts money” can be interchanged here as “reputation brings reputation”, since history / heritage could be any Company’s strongest point!

  31. I agree with the fact that highlighting the benefits and pros of any brand is crucial but at the same time we cannot ignore the importance of maintaining the brand’s reputation in the market especially with respect to the benefits highlighted.

  32. Maslow’s hierarchy is key in order to determine your audience/consumer. When targeting certain consumers it is crucial to understand where they stand in life and what products will give them a reason to believe at that stage of their life. Just because they can afford it does not mean that they are going to buy it and having said that, even if they cant really afford it but if you give them a reason to believe then they will do whatever it takes to get a hold of it. For example: an iPhone. In Pakistan, whenever a new model comes out, it is never priced below Rs. 60,000 at least and yet people strive to own one because it makes them believe that they will stand out in the society or it might give them access to a whole new world of technology; whichever stage of the Maslow hierarchy they find themselves on.

  33. The current state of the customer and their desired state. How quickly, efficiently and convincingly can I – (and only and only I) – help them in this transition?

  34. We all in this world are working with each other only for our own benefits and during this process we somehow or the other become the part of other’s benefit too! Mas-low’s hierarchy of need clearly define how a human need changes in his/her stages of life and for our target consumers it helps us to understand in what state he/she actually is!

  35. A very important point of consideration while deciding what should be your powerful benefit is that the benefit you own must be singular. One can’t be everything, so he should admit his short-comings, and then come up with a benefit that he can easily provide, and that he passionately believes in. So it all converges to your values again.

  36. Speaking about the Maslow’s hierarchy, I feel that the higher the level of needs the person is meeting for a set of customers the stronger and more irreplaceable could be the relationship. Like, if we are able to connect emotionally with our customers-whoever they may be-rather then just meeting their functional for example safety needs the relationship would become more differentiated and enduring. As our customers move up the hierarchy, so should we as brands evolve to keep up with their needs.

  37. the two chapters talk Unique benefit and Reason to Believe.

    In unique benefit, we see requirements of our consumers so that we can cater to how unique our brand would be in doing so. That would differentiate our brand from the competition.
    Similarly reason to believe explains that the target market should believe that the brand would provide with what it promises.

  38. Chapter 17 talks about the area of benefit that your brand has the capability to your consumer. But before doing so, you need to either know what your consumers’ needs are, or create a need all together. It is all about owning, either jointly with other brands an area of benefit, or be the leader in that area. The latter approach makes you stand out of the crowd, and make you undoubtedly a top of the mind brand in the minds of the consumers. This is what apple has been able to do so perfectly. Sometimes it is very difficult to basically understand and pin down a single, unique, off the chart and an authentic benefit for its consumers. Once you deeply personify the need of your consumer, and consequently translate it into an owned benefit, you have done off with the major chunk of your creating a brand equity.

    Chapter 18 is about question number 4 of brand positioning that is why in the hell should anyone believe in you, what is the basic reason to believe in what you are selling. Basically a power brand cannot have the privilege to call itself a powerful brand until they give their consumers the reason to believe in their brand, the sense of wellbeing, the sense of that someone is there for me. The three criteria that the chapter talks about to create a damn powerful reason to believe is to keep in mind that, first, is it plausibly unique, second, can it be able to persuade, third, is it a slam dunk, a bulls eye to be exact. Not every brand can have a reason to believe, but only power brands have the frame of authority of owning an area of reason to believe. That is what basically makes your brand stand out, and give your brand the competitive edge.

  39. I believe the most important part of positioning process is to identify the benefit you are offering or selling to your consumers. Once you have understood that, the reason to believe should come naturally to you, provided you are actually offering that benefit.

  40. When consumers buy a brand they dont buy it just for its features, but for the benefit it provides and the end value state it helps them achieve. For example, i realized after an extensive laddering interview with an interviewer for a project, I dont use an IPhone just because its got facetime which keeps me connected to my friends abroad, but also because it makes me feel part of a bigger social group. Similarly, we need to realise what it that ultimate end state we as a brand can cater to our consumers. This is my interpretation of a real scratch for your itch. I choreograph as a hobby and i only cater to close circles of close references of those close circles and the benefit i provide to them is not just sharing something im good at, but shring something i am good at and helping them achieve that level of happiness they desire out of their celebrations, by making it less of a boot camp as most choreographers do and keeping it more fun and inclusive

  41. Seasoned marketer say that people don’t buy your product, they buy the benefit you sell to them. This benefit is what I feel is the itch that the chapter talks about that a brand scratches for its consumers. The brand has to make their potential customer believe that what their brand offers to them is matchless to what its competitor provides. This would be the pitch you as a brand need to make so that people have a reason to believe on the owned benefit you have. It is always easy to target the customer by exploiting the bottom of the pyramid needs. This is why you would find many brands pursuing the sex appeal or need for security. The higher you go in the pyramid, the difficulty level for the marketer increases to resonate with the self esteem and self actualization needs of the customer. But once you make this level of interaction with your customer by providing them with their self esteem needs, you win a customer for a life. This is why Harley Davidson keeps one of the loyal customer base with them, who believe in the spirit of freedom that Harley focuses.

  42. I might be wrong but I believe we all get tested on our owned benefit and RTB at probably every interview we give, under the guise of “How are you the right fit for the position and why?”

    This is an interesting insight on how to solidify our personal brand, to clarify our standpoint on both these topics, to help us for the future.

  43. Identifying a brands benefits and communicating them to the customer is essentially one of the key part in handling a brand’s image. Similarly, we as a brand if are aware of our strengths and weaknesses we would better project our image to our audience i.e. people around us.

  44. In our lives we own some powerful unique benefits for different small group of audience or large group of audience some times. Like if I put my own example, I am an engineer and I lead a maintenance and operations team at my station. My boss, who is the resident engineer at site, by his job description is supposed to live at station round the clock to meet any emergency. But I have proved my self such responsible and techy person (which I am btw) to my boss that in his absence I am always the first choice to take his position as declared by him and other senior management. So I enjoy my boss’s position and powers in his absence, the cost I bear for this is sometimes my excessive stay at the station and not able to give time to my family and friends.

    Interesting, fingers crossed for the next chapters…

  45. The chapters interestingly talks about the unique benefit, that only you can have and the reason to believe that you are the only one that can itch that scratch. It’s like having a perfect girlfriend that you look to in times when you are emotionally unstable. It is an imperative to create and maintain this fact that you can be a perfect choice to itch a particular scratch. Doing so, you need to understand who your target market is. Communicating the unique benefit that you, only you can provide is the key to success. On the same lines, reason to believe tells why the target market should believe that the brand would provide with what it promises. Both the unique benefit and the RTB are equally important and must be formulated with utter attention and priority.

  46. In order to decide what your unique benefit is, you must look into the needs of the consumers and polish yourself such that you are able to cater to those needs.
    You must realize that your audience is rational, and needs a logic or a reason to trust you, so you must first figure out yourself, what your reason to believe is and then try to convince your consumers that nobody else is better at it than you.

  47. RTB should indeed be convincing – brands should learn from examples such as Apple and the like in order to devise an RTB that is strong enough for the target market to believe in the brand.

  48. One of the essential parts of a brand is the benefit it offers to the consumers, this may be in the form of a functional, emotional or an experiential benefit. It is the main reason why a consumer buys a certain product. Its serves the purpose of a problem solver, basically it scratches the itch of consumers.Similarly even an individuals must know himself really well in order to offer unique benefits and a reason to believe for others which in turn gives him a distinct image.

  49. The three form of benefits that any brand may offer are functional, emotional or experiential. They induce trial and they are the reason why a consumer is attracted towards a product. If a person can identify his strengths and weaknesses then even he can offer unique benefits to others which will allow him to have a unique identity.

  50. OMG! I was hoping to come across an explanation for the RTB for the brand YOU and after this chapter it is very much clear in my mind. So if I want to own the benefit of ‘bringing passion to everything that I do’ I will need to have something to advocate that. It could maybe be reflected in the sports teams I support? Or the NGO’s I work for? Or simply my personality traits e.g. my enthusiasm and energy? It is very important to have something to show for WHY you would be that person who offers an irreplaceable benefit. And the higher up the hierarchy the benefit the harder it is to convey.

  51. As we go on with the readings, every other chapter is a build up to the concepts we have developed in the previous chapters. These couple of chapters provide us a reflection of the attributes that are associated with us which are utmost important for our consumer or the people who are surrounded by us. It is imperative on us that we place ourselves in their situation and understand that why do they believe in us and how we are perceived.

  52. since the brands come in experience of product at first encounter and that encounter is purely based on the benefits that they offer and these benefits may be the price range or the unique packaging. however they can be summarized in simple two, the emotional and functional. the brands need to give unique benefits if not all than at least 1 that is unique. since in the hierarchy of needs , there comes many consumers at many level and the brands cant provide benefit to everyone so it need to focus on key benefits and also to specific audience. however the brands always try to provide these both kinds of benefits but they also need to make them believe that the benefit is unique and it will b e consistent. for that reason the reason to believe part exists. when looking into ones brand one can find a few unique benefits but the reason to believe in those benefits would be most of then consistency of delivering the benefits.

  53. A good read.
    so would brands have different price levels if they cater to different need levels on the mallow’s hierarchy? for e.g brands catering to the most basic needs (physiological) might have lower price levels than those catering the higher needs like self esteem or self actualization as the market size may shrink as the need level goes up.

  54. After going through this chapter, I learned that how important it is to go back to our roots and understand that what benefit have we been offering so far to our audience and how can we build up from there. Like a product provides some sort of benefit which can be in any form, either functional or emotional. Similarly, human beings like us have this ability, we give a reason to believe to our family or friends, that what we can promise to deliver to them. Few of us are the man of their words and they can promise on their commitment. The next step, I am going to do is to review the attributes I have and what are the key differentiators I can associate with myself and how to pitch them to my consumer.

  55. Social networking websites play a very important role these days making your powerful benefit outshine. ME being a musician for over 12 years have always been taken as a person who is contacted for musical needs. How that happens is pretty evident. You are always been looked upon with the activities you do on these websites. That is why it is highly advised to keep linked in for solely professional purposes while FB can be used for a much casual need.

  56. Advertising exists to communicate information about, and promote, brands — using ‘brands’ in the broadest sense. Brand owners, it might be believed, are thereby promoting their own interests. The defence is the marketplace itself: consumers are free to choose. Retailer brands meet the demand, where it exists, for alternatives to manufacturer brands. Some consumers are undoubtedly confused for part of the time but branding is a long-term investment. Manufacturer brand leaders fifty years ago are brand leaders today. They would not exist at all if enough consumers did not continue to buy them.

  57. The last two parts of a positioning statement are very well explained. Sometimes even experienced marketers are unable to differentiate between a benefit and a feature! The three types of benefits are very well explained so that we can easily differentiate between them. Furthermore at times it becomes very difficult to make consumers believe in what we are claiming is true. We really need to give them a strong reason to believe and this is perhaps one of the most important things when making a positioning statement. Very well explained!

  58. Apart from focusing on how you want to look in front of other people, one has to put in an equal effort in displaying the kind of compassion/assistance or any behavior that goes with the ultimate brand identity. however, one must remember, at all times, that it’s important to stay human at the end of the day. Not every move should be backed by a hidden agenda to market yourself, and something as simple as helping a stranger should come from within and not for the potential image that it can create for you.

  59. So the big challenge is to first identify the position you want to hold in each frame of reference, identify owned benefits (functional, emotional, experiential) – my owned benefit at work is that my boss doesn’t feel comfortable if all communication at work is not approved by me. My friends count on me if they need advice or just want to confide into someone. To strengthen our owned benefits, we have to give consumers convincing reasons to believe – e.g. deliver quality content , communication guidelines and recommend strategies. As a friend, giving honest opinion to my friends when they need it and cheer em up when they feel low.

  60. The amazing aspect, the art of branding has that one never sells to every one. A product might be perceived as brand for one person while it still remains a product for the rest. Pointing the correct need which your brand caters to and then coming across the correct kind of consumers in the lives of which the mentioned need might arise is the real challenge. Q mobile could be perceived as brand by a middle class Pakistani person while it may still be taken merely as a product to someone who has lived most of his life in abroad and has been on Apple for a huge portion of his life. The correct strategy would be to ignore the person mentioned later and focus on the one mentioned prior. This could be done by using the three mentioned strategies of functional, emotional and experiential advantage. But even if you come across this hurdle you still need to re affirm your customer about the reason that they should trust you, like being the oldest arm manufacturer could be one used by Beretta pistols.

  61. What is the ‘itch’ that only Brand YOU can scratch for your consumer? This is the most important question a person trying to “brand” themselves should be considering. What is it that you and only YOU can do? Or how can you do it differently? This chapter emphasizes on leaving your mark on the work you do… or doing it in a way such that your signature is recognized.

    An interesting read,

  62. I totally second with Maslow hierarchy of needs, but the point of argument here is; none of the need is never full satisfied. A person continuously moves around the 5 needs, upside down or vice versa.
    Also when we talk about offering and capitalizing on the 3 benefits; it majorly depends on the target market or individual. One may be only seeking for only 1 benefit incase and other might look for another. As human beings acting as a brand, I believe it is much easier for us to act in such situations; but only the key essence is adaptability. If we are adaptive to any situations that may come across, we can fully satisfy our customers.

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