Develop an understanding of what you are selling

The importance of developing an understanding of your brand, product or service

  • What are the attributes you wish to communicate about your product, service or brand? Once you know what these are, and how they are unique, it becomes necessary to have a sense of where gaps exist in terms of what your target market understands about your offering versus reality. The objective behind developing an understanding is to fill in those gaps.
  • Attributes pertaining to your product, service or brand may sometimes be complex to explain. Under such circumstances it may be worth considering which type of creative execution and media channel would be best for the job. For instance do you require a video for a product demonstration so that people can see what you’re talking about?
  • When you’re dealing with more complex, abstract concepts, copy intensive communications may do the job best. A White Paper or email communications may be the way to go. It is often not appreciated that doing this is strongly linked to a pricing strategy that does not rely on discounting. Put simply, if you don’t wish to discount, help your prospects and customers understand why they are receiving true value relative to what they are paying you.
  • This is especially relevant for complex, costly decisions whether they be B2B or B2C purchases. Remember that it is key to develop an understanding of what you are offering. If this does not take place you will have a challenge in justifying the prices you charge should prospective customers not understand your value proposition.
  • Remember that this process can take time. Also remember to use the best media channel for the job at hand so that your communication isn’t hamstrung by your media channel, and vice versa.

About the author

Alan Ohannessian started WisdomInc in 1999.

He has broad-based experience in how marketing strategy and analytics are practically integrated with other strategy disciplines for more effective outcomes.

Prior to starting WisdomInc, he started a Customer Relationship Management consultancy within the Ogilvy Group in the mid-1990s and worked within the Ogilvy Group over a 5-year period.

He has advised product and service organizations for more than 70 global and local B2C and B2B brands since 1995.

As a specialist across several disciplines, he is able to provide an integrated view of a solution when providing strategic insights. Areas of specialty have included Marketing Strategy, Brand Strategy, Communications Strategy, Brand Experience Management, and Pricing Strategy.

He has taught Marketing Strategy to MBA students at Wits Business School, on a part-time basis, through the “Marketing in a Connected World” course.

He holds a Master’s degree in Distribution Channel Strategy from the University of the Witwatersrand.

He has also completed a postgraduate dissertation in the area of cost-competitive mass-customization manufacturing strategies at Wits (where he taught Marketing Strategy, Consumer Behaviour, Marketing Research, and Retail Marketing over a 2-year period from 1993 to 1994.)

For further information, go to or connect with Alan at