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A profound effect on how clients and consumers see you

One-phrase slogans can have a profound effect on how clients and consumers see your product or service proposition. One key factor in crafting that phrase is matching its content to the client’s mindset, and in particular to the way they view opportunity. Here we explore the two fundamentally different kinds of consumer motivation: prevention and promotion.

Promotion motivation – what’s to gain?

Research in psychology shows that some people are more energised by optimism and praise. They see their goals as opportunity for gain or advancement. Research also suggests that these people are also more likely to embrace risk, seize opportunities and excel at creativity and innovation. Generally speaking, younger people are more promotion-minded.

Prevention motivation – what’s to lose?

A different type of person will view opportunity to avoid loss and/or stay safe. The prevention-minded are more driven by criticism and the possibility of failure; though they are more risk-averse, they are thorough and accurate in their work.

So which approach should you take with your product and its tagline? Products, activities and ideas can have different motivational focuses, just as people do, and it’s simple if your product is obviously in one category or the other. If you are selling term life insurance, you will be dealing with prevention-motivated buyers; high return but risky investments, on the other hand, will be purchased by promotion-motivated clients.

Knowing your audience is key, and research pays off. People will pay more for a product or service if you describe their choice in a way that matches their view of opportunity. You will increase engagement, and your clients will ascribe more value to the product or service in question, as shown in changes in attitude, behaviour and spending.

Segmenting your clients

It’s likely that you have both kinds of people within your target base. An effective approach would be to segment your client base. A financial organisation may find that younger investors are strongly gain-oriented, whereas older investors with substantial assets would tend to be far more protective of what they have. Hence, direct mail or web ads targeted at younger clients could emphasise gains and long-term growth potential, while ads for older clients would stress safety, particularly in terms of avoiding losses and preventing a reduction in future income.

Goldmine Media has over a decade’s experience of helping financial advisory firms improve client communication, raise brand awareness, improve marketing efficiency, enhance client retention and increase sales. To find out more, please contact us.

Jim Kirk, Senior Consultant, Goldmine Media

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