Joe Giordano, Synecticsworld

By Joe Giordano

We have all seen the trailer, if not the movie, from Far and Away: Tom Cruise, a hardworking Irish lad – grand music pushing him forward, mayhem cascading all around him – races, hair streaking back, flag in hand, to stake his claim on the new land, earning his right to build his future.

This kind of chaos makes for great cinema. But, in staking a claim to a specific targeted consumer, having a blazed path will get you there faster and more successfully.

An essential part of the Claims-Staking process is to create vibrant, impactful language around products—a language that hits home with the product’s specific consumer group and is based on the insights developed about that unique consumer group.

Claims-Staking is all about:

  • The Reason to Believe: Why the product works for that consumer group.
  • The Ability to Work: How effectively the product delivers the benefit to that consumer group.
  • The Emotional and Functional Benefits: What the product does for that target consumer.

Effective Claims-Staking lights up the consumer’s mind and leaves an imprint that can only be owned by you (and not your competitors). To be able to do this, you need to develop language about product features and benefits that are targeted, inspiring, motivating, and compelling.

So where would you start? By building a diverse team where Claims-Staking is everyone’s job (led by the product managers responsible for marketing research). There’s no monopoly on Claims-Staking; the key is to be available to everything as an input to a claim. So how does that work? Well,

  • The “product and category truths” are the starting points in the search of developing claims. Have everyone in the organization familiar with them.
  • Go deeper into understanding of these truths, evolve the truths, discover new truths.
  • Use all the talent in your organization, let them all see the data, let them all see the truths, the more minds at work increases the chances of breakthrough claims.
  • Go outside your area of expertise. Enable everyone to contribute to making new product claims.
  • Allow product claims to be actively developed and arise spontaneously—a rigid approach to claims generation is probably too limiting.

Great hair and a bad Irish accent might be essentials in other fields, but the key to a successful product Claims-Staking process is having Claims-mindfulness. Things to keep in mind:

  • Stay open to new information—seeing, hearing, and sensing in new ways and in new areas.
  • Create new connections and be wishful—what do you wish you could claim about your product?
  • Be aware of more than one perspective—diverse teams, consumers and customers.
  • Trust the process and the results will come—leave the process to the process professionals, stick with your expertise in the market place.

And most of all, have fun and trust your intuition—don’t talk yourself out of language you believe is impactful !

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