3 Truths of Consumer Public Relations

Consumer PR
pr for startups 05.06.13

Maybe you are one of them, but it’s a cinch that you have been in line behind one of them. You know, one of those people who enters McDonald’s and seems to have no idea what they want to order. Maybe they are having an existential quandary, or maybe they just can’t decide between chicken and fish. Your conscience argues for a salad, but your appetite knows better. Everyone reading this knows how this story plays out. Big Mac. Almost every time. The statistics agree. Salad sales make up only 3 percent of the fast food chain’s annual sales in the United States.

But what does this have to do with modern age consumer public relations? Ronn Torossian explains.

People buy what you promote

When you see a McDonald’s truck rolling down the road, what do you see on the side? Big Macs and french fries. What is McDonald’s known for? Yep. This is pretty easy arithmetic. When you are successfully branded in any market, there is a temptation to expand and rebrand. Ronn Torossian says if you choose to expand, it is always better to do so without rebranding. Add options, sure. But, unless it’s obsolete, stick with what got you the market share in the first place. Fast food consumers may want the occasional salad, but when it comes to burgers … billions and billions served.

People buy what they are accustomed to buying

This is similar to the previous point, but it differs in one key area. If you introduce and advertise a new item, there will still be a strong core of your market who WILL NOT DEVIATE. Whether you are selling cars, hairspray or cheeseburgers, your fans want what they love. Consumer PR should never lose sight of promoting and reinforcing habitual buying. Something new is terrific, but people love the classics. And they return to what’s familiar again and again.

People almost always choose “want” over “need”

When you are staring at that big menu board and having that existential quandary, you know it’s not about what you “want” for lunch. You “want” that big order of fries and a milkshake. But you feel like you “need” to eat healthy. And, while McDonald’s does occasionally promote its salads (particularly when they introduce a new variety) most of their advertising and public relations revolve around burgers and fries. Why is that? Simple. That’s what people want. We don’t go to a fast food joint to eat healthy. When you pull in at the Golden Arches, you are responding to “want” not “need.” McDonald’s understands this. Successful consumer PR firms, no matter what industry they are in, understand this as well. In a battle between “want” and “need,” taste almost always wins.

For help developing a successful PR campaign that delivers what your customers are looking for, contact Ronn Torossian and 5WPR today.

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