22 Jan 2020

Power to the People

Everyone who’s ever taken an introductory-level business course has learned about the Four P’s: Product, Place, Promotion and Price. But are we missing something?

After all, there’s something behind all of those factors that’s really the driving force. People.  

While it’s easy to assume that more sales and higher profit margins are the end goal in any advertising effort, it’s actually building relationships. At least, it should be. Loyal clients lead to repeat sales, it’s that simple. And, at the end of the day, it’s easier to sell yourself than it is to sell a product.

We’re not trying to ruffle any feathers here, your Marketing 101 professor wasn’t wrong when she told you that the Four Ps are vital factors in customer loyalty and business success. We just think she left one out.

We talk a lot about brand promise, but what exactly does that mean? So much of how a customer perceives their buying experience with you goes beyond the product you sell them. What was the service like? If they had complaints, did you address them? If the answer to either of these questions are less than positive, they most likely won’t buy from you again.

This seems obvious. So, why is the fifth P neglected?

It’s simple – things (in this case, people) fall through the cracks. If numbers look good, companies often don’t question how customer loyalty plays into their success. If people are buying your product, who cares if they’re the same people?

Well, you should.

Quality of service, even down to something as simple as body language, can either positively or negatively impact your brand value. And, as we all know, good memories fade quicker than bad ones. According to a recent survey of customers of phone companies like AT&T and Sprint reported that those who felt their sales representatives were less than helpful are, respectively, 6.6 and 2.5 times less likely to use the same service provider when their contract expires.

What’s the takeaway?

Spend your dollars training your people, not fixing the mistakes that are made because you weren’t doing that in the first place.


I’m Sophie Mann, and I work at encite branding + marketing + creative as Vice President of Strategy. My job entails a continuous study of business, marketing, data and culture, all in the name of driving strategy forward. I’m passionate about helping brands resonate more strongly with their consumers and communicate with their ideal clients. I’m also a proud graduate of the University of Kansas - Rock Chalk!