branding

The Modern Selling Point

by Jamal on January 14, 2019

Legally, corporations are in many ways a person. They share similar rights and legal obligations that you’d expect of a person. While, in one form or another, this has been around for centuries. In the past 10 or more years, however, personability in companies has gained significant importance.

It started out as companies creating their brand off of personal stories, easily relatable to their consumer base. However recently with the change in social climate in the world, and a new generation coming of age, that has evolved into a more matured view. Now a company’s personal identity must include some form of stances on social and political issues, amongst other things.

This is important to take note of because today those are the main things giving companies identities, which create selling points.

Companies Taking Note

Nike

Take Nike as the best recent example of this. Around September of last year, Nike made the decision to sign Colin Kaepernick and feature him in a large scale ad campaign. Choosing to publicly stand by him was a bold move that spurned some of its customers, but in the end, exponentially grew in favor of those supporting Colin. This is easily shown in sales and a much-improved stock price.

I bring up Nike because they perfectly took advantage of this new importance for companies to publicly stand on issues, without losing anything. In fact, with a little research, anyone could see that Nike just signed an 8-year extension with the NFL a few months prior in March. In addition to being a great move in public perception, it also doubles down on the notion of only being as great as your latest move.

Lyft

In the best words, Lyft is the Pepsi to Uber’s Coca-Cola. They’re both at the top of the ride sharing industry, serve the majority of the same places, and even share a large number of the same drivers. However just like with Coke, there’s only one Uber and Lyft is stuck playing catch up. So for Lyft to switch spots with Uber, it must continuously integrate their selling points with taking advantage of Uber Mistakes. Which, in moments, they do very well!

There is no better situation to illustrate this point than looking back two years ago in NYC. In January of that year, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance called for an hour-long work stoppage protest at JFK. Then 30 minutes after the stoppage was scheduled to be over, Uber tweeted(as it normally does around events of this notoriety) that surge pricing has been turned off at JFK. That then lead to the memorable #DeleteUber campaign, and Uber doing everything to repair their image.

Lyft, on the other hand, smartly took advantage of the situation and publicly donated $1 million dollars to the ACLU. At this point, it didn’t matter how similar these two companies are. Uber was the bad guy, and Lyft was on the side of social justice and introduced a new selling point.

Back To You

Now after looking at those two big companies, you’re probably thinking about how that applies to you. Hopefully, you’ve been paying attention well and was able to understand a thing or two from these stories. If not no worries, here’s a little more drilled down insight into what your modern selling point entails.

  • Connect your story to a cause you genuinely care for and is close to your business or customers.
  • Be aware of the current social climate so that you prevent blunders that tarnish your image
  • When your business is eventually caught in the middle of a storm, take the time to find a solution that makes up for more than you lost