Pump up your perceived value with the Glade Candle Method (and discover the benefits of your soulful services)
Walking through Wal-mart the other day, I happened upon a mid-aisle display of pumpkin- and foliage-scented Glade air fresheners.
Images of hayrides and color-changing leaves wreathed the cardboard display, which touted the “feelings of fall.”
To an outsider, it looks innocuous, a gentle reminder that autumn is here and you can decorate your space with scents that welcome the season.
But I know a secret: mass market candles are a ruthless business.
This cardboard display is a warrior battle cry from global consumer goods giant SC Johnson.
SCJ (the owner of Glade) paid through the teeth for this crazy-expensive aisle display so they could win just a bit of customer attention and elevate themselves above competitor brands Febreze and Air Wick.
I know all this because I used to work in the fragrance industry, and I spent months conceptualizing new ideas for candle scents in the mass market. I saw first-hand how global brands like SCJ and Procter & Gamble go head-to-head to make their products stand out.
These brands will do anything to elevate themselves to new and more exciting levels and establish a brand that customers crave.
Because they know that for many buyers, a candle is a candle is a candle. Lots of companies sell candles. Wal-mart alone carries more than a dozen candle brands.
And guess what? Every single one of these brands sells a product that lights up, releases scent, and looks pleasant while sitting on a shelf.
So what’s stopping a consumer like you or me from buying the cheapest chunk of wax in the store?
Not much (except a hideous smell, maybe).
In short, national brands selling commodity products cannot increase their value if they focus on features.
In fact, very few of us can.
The reality is, you have got to create a premium brand and product if you want to increase your prices.
That’s why last week, I challenged you to stop defining your product or service as just another product or service.
Instead, I gave you a simple formula to elevate your product or service in your customers’ minds.
Here it is:
“I created [your concrete product] so you can [the experience you REALLY sell].”
See what we did there?
This simple copy formula associates your product with a specific, concrete, and sought-after experience.
In turn, this allows you to:
- Anchors your product in reality.
- Give your abstract service or product an actual ROLE in your customers’ day–to-day life.
- Transform a squishy concept like “confidence coaching” into “a feeling of mastery every time you get up on stage to speak.”
Which means your product or service—and YOU—will stick in your customers’ minds.
Glade is desperate to do this. They’ve developed a brand and multi-year marketing campaign that’s all about connecting each one of their fragrances to a sought-after experience.
You get the drift.
Now let’s use a more familiar example.
Say you’re a health coach. You help new moms lose weight without spending hours at the gym.
So maybe the experience you most often talk about is “you’ll slip into your pre-baby jeans and look even better than before.”
That’s a pretty compelling argument. I’ll stick around and hear more.
But lots of other weight loss coaches can help me lose the pounds. So why should I pay more to work with you specifically?
This goes back to Glade. Even the cheapest Wal-mart brand candles burn and pump smell into a room.
Why would anyone pay more for a premium brand?
Because a premium brand offers benefits beyond the product experience.
THIS is why Glade marketing focuses so intently on feelings. Why they talk about so many kinds of experiences.
Because Glade knows that every new experience offers a new benefit to users.
You can feel happy. You can feel thoughtful. You can feel inspired. Each one of those things is a benefit beyond “my house smells good.”
Here’s The Glade Method in a nutshell:
- Make a list of day-to-day experiences your clients will have because of your service.
- Associate every single experience with a desired feeling.
- Whenever you write or talk about your services in detail (say, on a sales page or in networking events), describe these benefits, AKA the experience + the feeling.
Let’s go back to our weight loss coach. You help new moms shed the pounds without spending excessive hours at the gym.
But what happens when they lose those pounds?
How does your dream result transform your clients’ lives?
Let’s think about this in terms of experiences, a la Glade.
- When your client goes to work, she probably has more energy (from morning workouts or absence of carbs). She feels more alert and productive and prepared for that raise.
- When she goes to her closet to get dressed for date night, she can pull out any item of clothing and wear it comfortably. This is going to make her feel pretty and sexy and full of self-esteem.
- When she goes to the gym, she’s spending as little time there as possible to get the results she needs. This makes her feel like a good mom and romantic partner, someone who spends time with her family.
- When she goes on date night, of course this feeling spills over. She feels more self-confident and playful with her lover, so her love life improves.
- When she runs into an old friend who compliments her rockin’ bod, she begins to talk about her weight loss journey and realizes just how far she’s come. She recognized her own stick-to-it-iveness and personal follow-through, which allows her to feel proud and self-actualized—like she’s becoming the person she truly wants to be.
Now THOSE are some juicy benefits.
So the next time you need to pump up the value of your products and services, ask yourself these questions:
- How will the result that your service provides improve life for your IC?
- How will this improve their life financially?
- How will this improve their friendships?
- How will this improve their love life?
- How will this improve their health and wellness?
- How will this improve their sense of purpose, personal development, or connection to universal meaning and spirituality?
A quick word of caution:
Make sure your benefits are believable. If you promise that your service can create an experience that’s wildly out of character (a business coach who promises to overhaul someone’s sex life, for example), your customers will sense the disconnect and roll their eyes.
Above all, remember this: When you sell services that transform lives, the benefits you offer have the potential to touch every area of someone’s life.
How truly, deeply awesome is that?