We’re not suggesting anyone goes out and does anything illegal or immoral, goodness no! The secret is to understand how brands use sex to sell and how you can apply this to make your business more exciting, more appealing, sexier to your existing and potential clients. Using sex to sell in a more subtle way as part of the seduction process to attract customers.
Think of The Lynx Effect, Cadbury’s Flake and Häagen-Dazs who all made their products look sexy or, more to the point, they make you think you’ll look, feel or appear sexier when you buy them. Do you remember the ‘Hello Boys’ campaign that catapulted Wonderbra into the lingerie market in the 1980′s or, if you’re female and of a certain age, Nick Kamen stripping off and stone washing his Levi 501s in a laundrette? Those two ads catapulted those brands to super success. Happy memories!
Times and Attitudes are changing!
Attitudes are changing. Ann Summers, for example, is over 30 years old and is still a privately owned company with 140 stores nationwide and 4000 parties held each week.
More recently, E.L. James has completely rewritten all the rules with her 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. Does she care if a minority complain about the style and literary content of her books? Of course not! Why should she? She’s using sex to sell her book and her sales are at the top of the publishing charts in unprecedented volumes. She alone has sold more books than the next 250 top-selling authors have sold combined…. every week for 16 weeks!
Cars, cosmetic dentistry and swimming pools all sell a fantasy, and a lifestyle aspiration to look, feel and appear more attractive.
What can we learn from this?
Think of the strategies we use to attract someone we like; we should be attracting customers in the same way.
It doesn’t matter what we think, only what the client thinks. What’s in it for them?
Understand what they want, where they shop, and how they feel. What problems do you solve, and what fantasies do you fulfil? Men don’t generally buy a Range Rover because they need it, it’s because they want it!
What are their secret desires? I wouldn’t go to a gym to reduce my body fat percentage and increase my cardiovascular capacity – I’d go because I want to look gorgeous!
Seize the moment. Be bold. Stand out from the competition. If you don’t stand out, someone else will! My friend’s 13-year-old son will only use Lynx, and earlier this week a girl on the bus told him he was hot. Whether it was the Lynx or not, he won’t consider another brand!
Timing does matter; seduction is a slow and considered process. Remember the candlelit dinners, the flowers! One email newsletter or a postcard through the door is simply not enough to capture the attention of your target audience.
A service is the technical way you deliver your product; a sexy service delivers your product in a way that makes your customers ‘feel’ …. valued, satisfied, inspired, motivated, delighted! They like what you’ve got and they’ll come back for more.
Show them that you care; take time to learn what makes them tick. A tanning salon client isn’t interested in being brown, but in looking sun-kissed and sexy! It’s not about you – your customers only care about what they want so you need to really understand them.
Making sales is a seduction and you need to satisfy your clients’ secret desires or risk being a one-night stand!
Remember that service is a monologue whilst sexy service is a dialogue. That means you’re on their side and you’re listening to them.
Thanks to Lisa Dickson, Managing Director of Caseron Cloud Accounting, co-author of this article and passionate supporter of helping SMEs grow their business. Lisa provides an accountancy service that really is different from the usual! We wrote this article on the train back from an Entrepreneurs’ Circle, event on ‘Sex Sells’ last Monday. It was brilliant fun and of course, there was a serious message behind the subject!