Why do I have to wear underwear?

If you are a parent of a five-year-old, you field a lot of “why” questions.

Even if you sometimes struggle with the answer to such life-altering queries as this, you know firsthand that “why” is a powerful question that is often hard to answer.

But deftly done, it can lead to insightful answers that give lasting reason and understanding as to why we do things the things we do.

As marketers, we should act more like a five-year-old.

The two most important questions a marketer can ask are: why should people choose my product or service, quickly followed by why they should care.

We call these questions “reason why” questions.

The answer to the first question, why should people choose you, is usually straightforward. You are cheaper, last longer, taste better, go faster, are rated higher and a host of other words ending in “er”.

The usual stuff.

The second question, why customers should care, is a bit harder to answer.

The reason it’s harder is because it forces marketers to appraise their product or service through the jaundiced lens of those they hope to convince: highly knowledgeable, currently satisfied (with a competing product), time-starved, financially strained, information-overloaded prospects.

Consumers don’t want to reconsider a past decision unless they have to or are confronted with a powerful reason why they should.

So, really, why should consumers care about you?

Please pardon us for being harsh, but consumers don’t care how long you have been in business, how many clients you have, how hard it is to make your product, how many widgets are used to make it and more.

They only care about why they should be forced to reconsider an existing choice in favor of…. you.

So, it better be good.

A powerful reason why can usurp the highest unmet category benefit allowing the Davids to successfully compete against the Goliaths. Or just the Hamilton’s against the Citizens watch.

The bad news is that if you don’t give people an exciting reason why they should choose you, they will construct their own reason why they shouldn’t. But that is a subject for a later blog.

In our next posting, we’ll write about how to find your why.