Simon Sinek cannot be quoted enough for his approach to marketing. The heart of his philosophy is that you should sell to people that share your beliefs, rather than selling to people that simply need your product.
The question really becomes whether you are playing the long game or the short game.
In the short game, you can create a product that is twice as good as the competition, charge more money for that product, and make a profit. Best case scenario: with technology doubling every two years, you have a two-year sprint to make money on your product and join the constant innovation battle. Worst case scenario: someone can make your idea cheaper and/or slightly different and you have a six-month window before you need to start innovating quickly.
In the long game, you create a brand—a brand based on something real, with depth, that people believe in. The steps below provide a framework and an example on how to do that:
(Using Harley Davidson as an example because they are a strong brand, not because of any personal or company affiliation.)
Step 1 – Define your beliefs
Red Door Escape Room: We believe in people bonding together.
Harley Davidson: We believe in defying the “man”.
Step 2 – Design (your product/experience/service) according to your beliefs
Red Door Escape Room: All of our experiences are designed to create purposeful interactions between people.
Harley Davidson: Our motorcycles are louder and bulkier than anything else on the road.
Step 3 – Communicate your beliefs first when selling
Red Door Escape Room: We care about being present with those that you are with, and we ask customers to put their phones away when they play so they can do just that.
Harley Davidson: “What we sell is the ability for a 43-year old accountant to dress in black leather, ride through small towns and have people be afraid of him.” – Harley CEO
So are you playing the short game or the long game? Or do you have a foot on both sides of the court? In the end, both games can lead to great wins. But the long game is the one that will earn your business both success and strong relationships with the people who will follow and believe in your brand.