Packaging is King

“Agoncillo – Würth Rioja, Museo 30 – Christo” by Zarateman

How Do YOU Package Yourself?

Many people make the mistake of assuming that creativity or originality is what sells. This is not true. If it were, people would be buying original paintings instead of cheap reproductions. They would value a hand-knitted sweater over a cashmere name brand. Instead, people have values that restrain them to the known, to what other people value, to what makes them look good, and to what is useful to them

In a recent coaching session, a client of mine revealed that she was concerned about what exactly she was selling. I realized that she is ready to market herself, but like many of us has trepidations about committing herself to her path. The excuse that she is using to keep herself from moving forward is that she doesn’t have a product or service that is exclusively hers. This is just an excuse: after all, how many products out there are truly original or exclusive? New companies would have a very hard time starting for tripping over all the trademarks and patents out there.

One of the prime precepts of marketing success is “knowing your customer.” But how does one reconcile monetary success with following one’s heart: doing what one loves? I know many, many artists who do what they love and make not one penny from their art.

All else being equal, what is it that makes one idea successful and another not?

It boils down to one thing: the packaging. In the final analysis, it is not the content that sells, it is the packaging. I am not suggesting that one should not provide good content, but no matter the quality of your product, if you do not know your customer, you do not know how to present your content in a way he can value.

It is rather like a good date or marriage: you and your potential customer are in a relationship. You can paint a portrait of your ideal client, you know him so well. Thus, you know what he prefers in the way of imagery, colors, words, style, “look and feel.” These qualities are what a good designer can define: every communication, publication, brochure, press release, and website should adhere to the communication style and preferences of your consumer.

In order to effectively self-promote, you have to create a package that is you.

It is not important that you be original—although great original packaging is worth its weight in gold—think of the countless jean brands out there. What sells the high-priced designer brand over the low-priced generic? Some people will claim it is the designer; and that is often true, but it is the successful image imparted in the advertising: it is the packaging or marketing that is really selling those cloth pants.

In figuring out how you are going to package yourself, your product or your service, it is important that you know who you want as a client and how what you want to do coincides with that client’s hopes and desires. The benefits of knowing you, of your product or services, are perfectly matched with that client’s style of communication, preferences and secret dreams. How well you match these will be the measure of your success.

The perfect client with the perfect package is a match made in heaven!

Copyright Aliyah Marr