Brands do not fulfill needs.
Brands feed hungers.
This distinction is critical.
Especially in today's marketplace.
Where people are reluctant to spend money or change routines.
Everyone has needs.
And it's often quite easy for us to recognize those needs.
It's like the old joke.
A salesperson was sent to Africa to open up new shoe markets.
Two days after arriving, she excitedly called her office.
"The prospects in Africa are unlimited. Nobody here wears shoes!"
Don't believe the "Just Do It" hype.
Today's prospects are most certainly not unlimited.
You must work diligently to discover and uniquely feed people's hungers in order to grow.
So before you release a new offering.
Or craft an informative piece of communication.
Or launch a new website or ad campaign.
Ask yourself (and your strategic partners).
"What does our audience hunger for?"
"How do we know it's a motivating hunger?"
This may sound simple, but it's not.
Yes, people need information.
But they hunger for speed, relevance and meaning.
People need a cell phone.
But they hunger for uniqueness, feature richness and simplicity.
People need rental housing.
But they hunger for cleanliness, attention and respect.
Some may agree that, in fact, brands do not fulfill needs.
Instead they'll insist that brands solve problems.
That's certainly true.
But it's also a limiting perspective.
What problem did people have with their phones before the iPhone?
What problem did Five Guys solve with their burgers and fries?
What problems did Pixar, Zappos and Pandora solve?
It's easy for shoe wearers to conclude that shoeless people have a problem.
But one person's problem is simply another's status quo.
Don't make that mistake.
Find and feed their hungers instead.
Great brands don't fulfill needs or solve problems.
Great brands enhance lives.