Is Your Brand a CTA?

Does the mere mention or visual of your brand cause customers to take action?

Has it reached a level in your customer’s minds similar to that of Pavlov’s dogs at the sound of the bell?

Take a step back.

Pavlov’s dogs learned to react as if they were being fed at the sound of the bell.

They were conditioned to respond by associating a stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus and response.

What unconditioned behavior is linked to your brand?

It is not the same for everyone. We are, after all, a motley crew of individuals. One woman I know arrives at her office drinking a super-sized cola drink each morning. She refills it multiple times during the day. Another greets the day with one of those Grande Coffee drinks I can’t pronounce must less remember. She may have another if she’s meeting someone out of the office.

Both apparently need the stimulus of sugar in their system. Both get the boost they need in liquid form. Why does one like it hot and the other cold? And since human beings are creatures of more complex operant conditioning, what caused them to associate their need with their selected brand?

Every equipment purchase is behaviorally linked.

So you have to buy a bike or a car, a computer or a set of skis or a surfboard. Your need is for the piece of equipment that will help you get done what needs to be done.  But as soon as you come to the conclusion that you need it you are blessed (or cursed) with a plethora of possibilities.

You can get the basic one and that will work for you. But have you noticed that logic goes out the window when you have to make this kind of decision? Basic capabilities don’t mean a thing when we are confronted with products that in our minds do the basic job but then add emotional positives to it!

  • A Bianchi by Gucci bicycle will set you back about 15 grand. Of course it has the panache of Gucci design and is carbon-fiber, flat-bar road bike. Or you could go for a Roadmaster at Walmart for about 80 bucks.
  • You could find a four cylinder used car and get by with it but you prefer to be green. The choices range from a pug-nosed Mitsubishi i-MiEV at about $23,000 to a Tesla Model S at $68,000.
  • Apple or PC? This is more of a religious question at times.

Personal purchases are constrained by brand perceptions.

Logic rules only in B2B situations and not always then. When we can remove ourselves from the product and its use we can easily opt for what gets the job done most efficiently for the funds available.

Personal items allow us to be conditioned. If your product or service is purchased for personal use you can position it in relation to unconditioned stimuli and responses. All three of the equipment examples above bring into play the differential of how the buyer wants to be perceived based on the item purchased. It runs from purely practical to conspicuous consumption. The prices are directly linked and form part of our conditioning.

There is a point however when we stop believing that a higher price means better quality. In bicycles, a solid gold mountain bike for $1,000,000 puts it in the conspicuous consumption range for me. A Tesla Model S even though I can’t afford it still appeals to me. Computers? I never drank the Kool-aid. I’ve used both Apples and PCs and because I view them only as tools I’ve never been concerned about the emotional value of either.

Where are your customers on the scale?

That can give you a strong clue as to how you should build your brand. Based on strong direct marketing research it will tell you whether your communications should look like an explosion in a type factory or arty portraiture. Look at the advertising for products and services like yours that are at the opposite ends of the spectrum to immediately see the difference. Now, where should you be to reap the greatest reward?

Jerry FletcherJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.



Mission, Position and the Customer Journey

30-Second Marketing for Consultants Part 2

Chris said, “So 30-Second Marketing has four parts: Hook ’em, Hold ‘em, Pitch ‘em and Close ‘em.

Y’all can take that to the bank, youngster,” drawled Rob. “And when a Georgia Boy lays that on you it is certain true, no doubt.”

Pathway to purchase“The problem,” said Chris is I’m not really clear on how it is different from a Mission or a Position.”

“Foah starters it’s got more movin parts. It’s like the difference ‘tween flinging a beastie into the briar patch and roundin’ up the hounds to go huntin come sunset.”

Rick asked, “Fletch, since you originated 30-Second Marketing (See Part 1) would you please translate what the southern fried branding Buddha just scrambled?”

Mission versus Position versus 30-second Marketing

“Sure,” I replied. “A Mission is for all the folks that need to trust a firm, product or service. A Position is a way to quickly tell suspects, prospects, customers and clients why they should put you first. Usually those will be words in print and there is no opportunity for interaction.

30-Second marketing is about a conversation rather than one of those brief summaries intended to make you memorable in as few words as possible. It encourages interaction.”

Gail, the copywriter and editor in our midst, piped up, “30-Second Marketing is a conversation, not a commercial. You need to invest significantly more time and imagination in crafting your answers than you might think.”

The Path to Purchase (Customer Journey)

Rob’s honey-warm voice slid in. He said, “My friend Gail is tryin’ to sugar coat the fact that it will take a good bit o’ skull sweat to get it right. Moah importantly, you need to get to know your prospect real well. You need to know where he or she is on the Path to Purchase and what is important to ‘em at that point. Don’t matter if it is one person, a couple or a committee, you got to get inside their heads.”

Gail said, “I like that description Bubba. Usually it’s what people call the Customer Journey but Path to Purchase is a lot more direct way to put it. And from my experience I believe that would be easier for folks that aren’t communications pros to understand.”

“I agree,” I said. It took me quite a bit of time to explain the customer journey to some clients the other day. And even when they got it there was difficulty in getting to the level of detail that can influence buying decisions. Something as simple as knowing that a new company was formed by execs from the leading company in the field can make  huge difference. Sometimes, the simple revelation of how you access one of the features of a product can close the sale.

The Takeaways:

Mission and Position are print reminders to make you, your product or service memorable.

The Path to Purchase is the steps your customer/client goes through in order to make the decision to buy.

The more intimately you understand the Path to Purchase the more compelling you can be in every phase of the sale…including 30-Second Marketing.

Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry, The Consultant’s Communication Consultant, is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at:

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic.