Make People Feel Good And You Will Go Far

Popular speaker and author, Tom Asacker, weighs in on some things he’s been thinking about lately.

People believe that they are better than they really are, and they want YOU and your people and your business model to validate those feelings. If you’re really smart, you’ll make them feel even better about themselves and their decisions.
I wonder why, no matter how many times or in how many ways I explain this to clients, it seems to fall on deaf ears. Here it is again: Harley Davidson does not sell motorcycles. They sell identity. They sell esteem. They sell belonging. Ditto for Apple and Starbucks and the rest of the best.
Did you hear what one college woman said when asked why she kept buying her coffee at Starbucks even after the professor agreed to purchase it for her (exactly the way she desired it)? Are you ready for this? Are you sitting down? Here it is:
“They’d miss me at my regular Starbucks if I didn’t stop in.”
Self-worth . . . only $5 a cup.

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan seeking the perfect pale ale in the Pacific Northwest. Disc golfer. Fan of Kurt Vonnegut, community radio and wolves in the wild. Copywriter and brand strategist at Bonehook. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp.

  • Dr. Hans Akkerman

    self esteem? belonging? identity? Oh stop it. american marketing wank at it’s finest.
    starbucks sells coffee, apple sells computers and harley sells bikes.
    please, let’s NOT “ladder up” anymore.

  • http://adpulp.com David Burn

    You’re not making us feel good, doctor. Ergo, how far can your theory go?

  • http://www.acleareye.com Tom Asacker

    It’s okay David. I Googled the Doctor and it appears that he’s an archaeologist. So from his viewpoint, that’s *exactly* what they sell. Ya dig?

  • http://adpulp.com David Burn

    I love archeology. If you do too, see this National Geographic article on the Maya.

  • http://www.thepeoplebrand.com/blog DUST!N

    I dig.
    Cynicism… Free. Where’s my cup?
    Wait… I get it… “Ya dig?”… Archaeologist?… That’s rich.

  • Dr. Hans Akkerman

    So, let me see. i don’t buy gasoline. i buy the freedom to explore and fulfill myself through enriching experiences. ach!

  • http://adpulp.com David Burn

    At the end of the day, you’re buying gas. Between 9 and 5, you’re buying “the freedom to explore.” Okay. Everyone happy?

  • Dr. Hans Akkerman

    obviously i am being slightly facetious here. even us germans have some sense of humour. but i am so bone-tired of the “intellectualization” of simple things like brands and buying behaviour. yes brands can develop beyond their product attributes and have out-sized meaning in people’s lives. but what got starbucks and apple where they are was coming up with an obviously better product. sometimes an operating system is just an operating system. and a cup of coffee is just a cup of coffee.

  • Mr. Toussi

    Okay I know where you’re coming from…
    you made the girl feel great with that “Starbucks” coffee because you bought it for her ($) When you do stuff like that it makes other’s feel good, “BUT” make sure you dont do those kind of things all the time!!!