Should Your Business Be Aspirational or Relatable?

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

For the most part, businesses fall into one of two categories: aspirational, or relatable.

Aspirational businesses seek to sell an idea to the general public. They sell a lifestyle; their entire focus is tempting, somewhat luxurious. Their products or services are sold in a way that makes customers want to buy, rather than customers seeking them out because they need to buy.

Relatable businesses are almost the exact opposite. They sell their products and services based on need. They relate to their customers’ existing lives rather than trying to sell them a better, brighter life; they seek improvement rather than replacing.

Almost any product or service can be sold in an aspirational or relatable way.. For example, if you sell luxury soap:

  • Aspirational: “You deserve this soap. Your skin, and your life, will be better if you use this soap. This soap will grant you a touch of luxury during an everyday routine. It’s a treat, a way to care for yourself.”
  • Relatable: “Your life is tough, and it’s nice to have to have a little luxury to cheer you up after a hard day. This soap can be a ray of sunshine that powers you through, ensures your hands are clean, and is kind to your skin at the same time.”

The above text has been somewhat embellished to make the point, but the basic idea is the same: anything can be aspirational or relatable.

Which is better: aspirational or relatable?

Here’s the thing: there is no “right” answer to this question. Both aspirational and relatable services can be incredibly successful; they just represent different approaches.

So why does the decision matter?

If both types of approach can produce a successful business, it’s natural to wonder why you have to ponder this question at all. The answer is simple: the aspirational/relatable choice influences nearly every decision you will make over the course of running your business. For example:

  • As mentioned, marketing choices you make are most influenced by the aspirational/relatable choice. The wording you use, the images, what you’re trying to sell to your customers – they are all governed by this decision. When you have a strong relatable or aspirational vision to take to professional marketing services from Third Angle and similar companies, you will be able to achieve a cohesive campaign that genuinely benefits your company.
  • If you sell products, the packaging you choose is influenced by the aspirational/relatable choice also. For aspirational products, you would use high-end packaging that looks good in a cupboard or on a dressing table; for relatable, you’d keep things more basic and friendly.
  • Your brand’s voice is highly affected by this decision also, encompassing everything from product labelling to how you communicate with customers on social media.

The above areas are just the most obvious areas that are governed by this choice, and are in and of themselves highly significant to the success of your business. While there is no right or wrong decision when contemplating this choice, the fact that you have to make a choice is undeniable.

Whichever you choose, be sure to continually adhere to the same principle throughout every business area. Not only will this help ensure that your business is cohesive across its presentation, but it will also allow you to make quick, concise, on-brand decisions every time.

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