You’ve probably heard this saying before. Of course, features and benefits play a big role in a consumer’s choice, but that’s not actually what drives anyone to buy.

Brands that win, big or small, communicate something that goes beyond the product or service offering. The result? An emotional response that drives action.

Let’s draw out a simple, real-life scenario.

Everyone has heard of (or tried) Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. They’re one of the leading names in the industry – and for good reason.

Beyond just having unique flavor combos and funky names, most fans support Ben & Jerry’s for a more meaningful purpose – the issues they care about and the way they conduct business.

And they deliver those values in every single carton they sell. Fair Trade. rGBH Free. non-GMO.

So, want to build a powerful brand?

Stand for something, and stick to it. Make it known to consumers that purchasing a product or service does more than just put money in the seller’s pocket.

Communicate the reason the company exists. Tell everyone “why” you do what you do.

Businesses are created to solve a problem, right? A solution to a problem that is a little bit different, or a little bit better than the other-guy’s.

But, a better solution doesn’t make you different. We’re all out here trying to do the same thing – solve problems better than everyone else. So stop using that to position your company.

There’s a better way to get people to trust your solution over someone else’s.

And it’s not by adding more features or doing the job cheaper or faster. It has to do with the way people make decisions.

Believe it or not, humans don’t really make decisions with their analytical brains. Crazy theory, we know. Except that it’s not a theory at all.

Most decisions are made within the limbic system of the brain. It’s the part of the brain that stirs up emotion and produces the “gut feelings” that overwhelmingly drive decision making.

When someone says, “I don’t know, it just feels right,” it’s not their analytical brain doing the talking. It’s their prehistoric lizard brain coming out to play.

How does your product or service make the customer feel?

This simple question is the defining point that drives purchasing behavior. Your product might be the best, but if it doesn’t feel good, you can bet they’ll choose another brand that does.

Businesses are run by PEOPLE.

It’s super important that everyone realizes this. Your business needs to feel human. Like a person is running it. It should be a reflection of the person or group of people who run the show.

What better way to capture the human feel of a business than with a powerfully human-centric brand?

That’s what wins.

Don’t make the mistake of worrying about the wrong things. Features and metrics are great, but they don’t build a strong connection that will drive human action. And driving action is hard.

Selling features don’t cut it.

Selling a brand cuts it.

Stories, people, and feelings. Connect the “gut” to the “brain” and give a bigger purpose to the consumer’s experience, and they’ll gladly join your cause.

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