Brands help sell brands

If a salesman turns up for a meeting in new Porsche 911, he’d better be flogging footy players, not underwear or umbrellas to BHS.

Most salespeople understand the principles of the game: set a tone that’s both professional and in line with your brand and product offering.

That’s why I’m amazed at business people who rock up to meetings in £40k cars and then produce cheap, battered, old laptops from leather briefcases.

If you’re selling top-end tyres, tiaras, towels, till systems or toothpicks, surely it’s unwise to do so with dated equipment?

Salesmen want you to procure something with an intangible benefit associated with brand equity (think perfume for the classic example where a tiny fraction of the cost goes to production). My problem is they often do so while displaying a lack of desire themselves. Yes it’s shallow. And yes, playing the game is a branding exercise.

It’s the equivalent of a builder turning up at your house in a beat up old transit, while he tells you how much quality and added value he brings with his £30k conservatories.

Cheap is perfectly understandable – frugal is fine – but when you’re selling luxury, quality or style, know that you should display some yourself as well (let’s call it ‘acting out’).

Easy win: an £800 MacBook comes over way better than a four year-old Dell some folks would schlep around. (And, no, don’t kid yourself, it’s not JUST about the label.)


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