May the wind be the only product in your hair.
Take a twirl through Harley Davidson’s print ads (Google: Images for Harley Davidson print ads) to see what they are really marketing. Harley sells motorcycles but they market experiences, a world view and a very strong identity that their customers aspire to. They tell the story of taking to the open road on a sunny Saturday morning. More than that, they tout freedom in a anti-corporate way with a sprinkle of rebellion thrown in.
They focus their story not the product: motorcycles with air-cooled, four stroke, twin cam, 1600 cc engines with 6-speed transmissions. Other motorcycle companies can easily copy their product specs. Instead Harley amplifies their customer’s mindset, feelings and emotions. Competitors can’t copy Harley’s story.
Most associations market their version of a 1600 cc engine
Fact-based selling is moving aside as we see companies effectively move their products away from the commodity side of the spectrum to the brand side. Instead of fact-based selling these savvy marketers are story telling. Telling stories that their customers aspire to, identify with and that share their worldview. The story telling strategy can work for associations too. Amplifying your member’s worldview and marketing experiences can sell more memberships than marketing membership can.
You want safe? Get a minivan.
- Your association’s brand may not be what you think it is
- Moving membership from a transaction to an experience
- Association marketing vanity (AssociationMarketer.com)