If I held your product in my hand, and said “It’s physically…alright.” What would that mean to you? Or would it mean anything at all? What if I then said, “I like the function of it!”. Ahh I bet that clears things up for you right? You see, as a wise man once said, “In reality, every product you are given to sell is actually two products.” Let’s dive in to learn about why it’s crucial to understand the differences between the two and how marketing the wrong product can get you to blow your hard earned money on Zucks new underground bunker.
Navigating the Relationship Between Physical and Functional Aspects of Your Product
Your product in its entire form is divided into a physical product and a functional product. The physical aspect of your product will NEVER sell. People do not buy the feathers in a pillow, the reinforced silicone of a cell phone case, or the glass from your new car’s LED headlights. It’s important to note that the only thing closing a sale between you and your prospect is what the product will actually do for them or how it will make them feel. The physical aspect is the enabler while the functional aspect is the producer. Newsflash: THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU OR YOUR PRODUCT.
Repeat after me, “the physical aspect of my product will never sell.” Great, well I’m glad we got that out of the way. You should note however, it doesn’t mean the physical aspects of your product are deemed USELESS, in fact they are Bonnie and Clyde, and the physical aspects can be hammered into your ad, explanation, sales pitch etc., ONLY to reinforce the performance that you are already promising your prospect. It is meant to close the deal per say, not to initiate it. First you must catch the attention of your prospect with the functional aspect and undeniably satisfy their mass desire with ONE of the performances your product provides.
Identifying and Tying Your Product’s Performance Factor to Mass Desire
So you might ask, what performance factor do I choose? What do I advertise? Your homework, or the homework of a team like us then becomes, to study the product in a way where you explore which one of its performances satisfies the largest population of your market with the largest burning desire. The most important part of this process that should not be overlooked is understanding your market’s needs and what their biggest desire is. Just because the product provides something to one group of people, doesn’t make that the biggest desire for another group. Understand your market’s biggest desires, and then pick which performance of your product addresses this desire best. After this evaluation is done, you now have the means of providing the selling power for your ad and the means of which you should lead within your headline!
Taking the examples from above, it becomes clear that you should speak to the performance of your pillow achieving better sleep. The performance of your silicone cell phone case should promise a safe and protected phone and lastly, those LED headlights are going to give your prospect unimaginable vision for those foggy, rainy nights.
Enforcing and Closing the Sale
As mentioned before, the physical aspects such as the feathers, the special silicone or the special glass of the headlights are there to further enhance the performance you promised. Maybe those feathers are pulled from the softest freaking bird on the planet (yes the bird grew them back). That silicone case has been battle tested, ran over, flown to space and who knows what else to bring your phone safety. Somehow this new glass you have, is able to project light at an angle and distance that competition simply hasn’t figured out yet. They are all enhancement factors that further convince your prospect that your product is the solution they are looking for!
If you made it this far, I’m glad we’ve arrived at a place where we understand the difference between the physical and functional aspect of your product and know how to effectively hook or engage your prospect to your marketing efforts. Another conversation I’m very intrigued with is how products are not only two dimensional but how there are essentially only two types of products. Passion products and problem solving products, but let’s save that for our next encounter!
As always, if you or your business can benefit from getting digital performance to the next level, give us a holler, we’d love to explore working together.
Cheers and happy Friday!
Jonathan is a Digital Growth Marketing Manager at Shared Audiences focused on paid and organic social media, as well as branding and conversion rate optimization (CRO); always testing to ensure funnels are set up for growth. He has launched several e-commerce brands in the health food and pet spaces, and was previously Vice President of Operations for Anfasales Distributors, a service company for supermarkets. He lives in Milford, CT.