The resource designed for those unfamiliar with BreakOut Marketer, and our Proven Marketing and Innovation approaches — and for those Marketing and Innovation pros that want a refresher course on proven approaches and principles of Marketing, Branding and Innovation Development.

August 07, 2019 By John Ziegler

Consumer Behavior Shift: Grow Your Brand Into An Unstoppable One

You’ve finally found it…

The resource designed for those unfamiliar with BreakOut Marketer, and our Proven Marketing and Innovation approaches — and for those Marketing and Innovation pros that want a refresher course on proven approaches and principles of Marketing, Branding and Innovation Development

We refer to this BreakOut Marketer resource as the Consumer Behavior Shift System (or CBS System).

You see — all innovators, marketers, and entrepreneurs are at various levels of STUCK .

There is just so much knowledge that comes with experience as it relates to innovating and marketing to make your business more competitive and profitable. And each of us, at some point in our career, have been stuck.

But as a marketer or innovator, staying stuck is not an option. From beginner to seasoned pro – we all look to get better at what we do — we all look for that edge. It is in our DNA.

This post is the starting point to understanding our proven BreakOut Marketer approaches to strategy, positioning, marketing planning, ideation, innovation, insights, and so much more.

But hint… at the core to all of it are two foundational skills all marketers and innovators need be very, very good at.

The first is being able to uncover deep consumer insights.

The second is being able to get potential consumers to choose your product or service over the competition, and your current customers to choose you more often.

To help you do this better and more consistently, our BreakOut Experts developed the BreakOut Consumer Behavior Shift System.

The Consumer Behavior Shift System

The CBS System was developed by our experts who honed their craft at companies like: Apple, GlaxoSmithKline, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, P&G.

This is the same system Amazon uses to dominate ecommerce. It is how Tide, iPhone, Tylenol and niche brands like Sensodyne toothpaste, have become household names.

The CBS System works for fortune 500 companies to small businesses. It works for mom-and-pop shops and billion-dollar brands. It works whether you sell traditional products, digital products, or services

The CBS System works because it exploits each and every aspect of the irrefutable law of business growth: “There are only three ways to grow a business”:

  1. Increase the number of customers (add new / retain existing)
  2. Increase the average transaction value per customer (price increase.)
  3. Increase the number of transactions per customer (buying more, more often)

While there are many strategies or “levers” a marketer can use to grow a business, you need to be able to “SHIFT” two fundamental “things” with potential or current consumers/customers.

Fundamental Thing #1: Attitudes Shift

Fundamental Thing # 2: Behaviors Shift

Read this Blog Post carefully. Read it multiple times and commit it to memory.

This “CBS System” is key to consistently create brilliant marketing and innovations for your business.

Download The Consumer Behavior Shift System Toolkit Now – It's Free!

Save & Use your new CBS Worksheet on every marketing, promotion, and innovation initiative you do!

This is a warning: There is much profit in understanding, and having the wisdom of what a consumer does and why they do it.

But there is enormous profit in knowing how to influence consumer attitudes and behaviors about your product or service.

Knowing the Desired Behavior Effect on the Consumer you are looking to achieve and the Marketing or Innovation Strategy or Idea that will cause that Desired Shift will result in breakout business growth.

Steps Of The Consumer Behavior Shift Worksheet.

Step 1: Understand Current Consumer Behavior

Step 2: What Is The Desired Consumer Behavior

Step 3: Understand Current Consumer Attitudes

Step 4: What Are The Desired Consumer Attitudes

Last Step: Describe the Marketing / Innovation Idea that will cause the shift needed to deliver on your Desired Attitudes and Behavior.

The “Marketing or Innovation” Idea(s) is what will Shift the Consumer from their “Current” Attitudes and Behaviors state to YOUR “Desired” Attitudes and Behaviors state.

t could be a new product or service innovation, or a marketing campaign, advertising idea, or a unique claim or benefit only you can offer.


Step 1 – Understand Current Consumer Behaviors

  • What are they doing?
    • Are they buying a different product or service than what you are offering (most common answer)?
    • Maybe this is a Key Influencer, are they recommending a competitor?
    • Or are current Consumers switching to a competitive product or service?
    • Maybe your sales funnel or the consumer-buying journey is broken at some point and you are not closing the sale?

Step 2 – What Is The Desired Consumer Behavior

  • What do you want them to do?
    • Buy your product or service?
    • Recommend your product or service (key influencer, e.g. doctor, dentist, celebrity, blogs)
    • Stop your current Consumers from switching to a competitive solution.

Step 3 – Understand Current Consumer Attitudes

  • What thoughts, feelings, beliefs, are the main barriers to them doing what you want them to do?
    • During this step, you need to have the “Wisdom” why they are doing what they are doing — what are the deep consumer insights and their pain points that are driving their Behavior?
    • It is important to note that Uncovering Valuable Consumer Insights starts by asking the right questions and collecting the “Data” needed to answer those questions. BUT this “Data” is only valuable when you are able to “walk in your consumers shoes” and turn the “Data” into stories that can share the insights and wisdom gained.
    • Stop your current Consumers from switching to a competitive solution.

Step 4 – What Are The Desired Consumer Attitudes

  • What would they need think, feel, and believe to change their behavior? What are the emotional outcome(s)?
    • Based on their current attitudes and key Consumer Insights and Enemy Pain Points, define your new “Desired Attitude After State” of your Consumer.

As Marketers and Innovators, we get paid to shift consumers from a “Before” less desirable state to an “After” more desirable state.

In the “Before” state, the Consumer is discontent in some way. They might be in pain, bored, frightened, or unhappy for any number of other reasons. They may not even know what they need until it is presented to them.

In the “After” state — life is better. What previously plagued them has been addressed.

Great Marketing and/or Innovations is what moves Consumers from the “Before” state to the “Desired After” state.

Most businesses that fail, particularly at start-up or when entering new markets, do so because either:

  • They fail to offer an ownable and defendable “Desired After” State (Positioning / Benefits are no good) or
  • They fail to articulate the Key Insights / Enemy Pain Points in the “Before” state and what and why you can deliver on your “Desired After” state. (Marketing and/or Innovation are no good)

Needless to say — getting clear on the desired outcome your business or innovation provides is fundamental to the success of making your business into an unstoppable brand.

For example, let's say you want to charge more for your product or service?

Simple — create a greater distance between the “Before” and desired “After” state by either:

  • Creating a better product or service (a better or easier solution/innovation).
  • Articulating the transformation from “Before” to “After” differently or more clearly (better marketing).

When rolling out a new marketing campaigns or innovations, starting a new company, or moving into a new market — Do It With Wisdom.

Get clear and specific on your “Before” and “After.” You MUST have the “Wisdom” of the current Consumers Attitudes and Behaviors and how the Marketing and/or Innovations you will be rolling out will change their Attitudes and Behaviors to the “Desired After” state.

If you’re not able to clearly articulate how you can take your prospect from the “Before” state to a “Desired After” state — you may have an issue with your Brands Positioning in the Marketplace.

There is nothing more important than ensuring your Brands Positioning is ownable and defendable. Your marketing and new product/service innovation pipeline is dependent upon having a growing group of Consumers that want and are willing to buy what you are selling.

A Real Life Example: Abreva

Here is a great example of a business (brand) that went through breakout growth, and then hit a BIG low for a long time, but eventually got back to breakout growth.

That brand is called Abreva and is an OTC cold sore medicine.

As you can imagine the cold sore medicine that delivered SPEED to healing a cold sore was king. And that was Abreva, which almost instantaneously became the number one treatment on the market, with a commanding share.

Abreva holds a Superior Brand Position in the cold sore marketplace – it has from the time it first launched – but there was a time when they almost lost that position and the price point it commanded.

Abreva had a couple things going for it... 1) It had many BreakOut Claims,and 2) it was the only cold sore treatment that was FDA Approved.

Abreva Launch Claims:

  • Cuts Healing Time In Half (remember whichever product healed the fastest, wins. Period)
  • Only Non-Prescription Medicine Approved by the FDA To Shorten Healing Time.
  • Or Heals Like a Prescription without one.
  • And Finally, as it says right on the package: “Only FDA Approved Medicine To Shorten Healing Time”)

Not surprisingly, Abreva’s superior Brand Position allowed it to command a premium price. These types of brands are rare, and as you will find out, for a reason.

The Consumer Behavior Shift for the Abreva business would have be close to something like this:

Here are some of those claims being used in the original advertising.


Then...fast-forward 4 years after the launch and then... BAM!

Abreva loses its superiority claim: Cuts Healing Time In Half.

Why and how Abreva lost this claim is not important.

The marketing team was just dealt a major blow –they just lost Abreva’s main reason for being.

Fast-forward another 7 years (I came onto the business at this time)

The Brand had been doing okay. It was not lighting its sales growth on fire like it used too, but it was not in a state of decline. The Brand still had some good claims, but it was definitely missing the Speed Claim it once had.

Abreva might just have a speed claim after all.

Then the unthinkable happened (and maybe a bit of luck) – either way, it just goes to show that you need to look under every rock when you are running a business.

This is a great example of why you should never make any assumptions when it comes to “thinking you know it all”.

As my team and I were preparing for an upcoming Claim Brainstorming Event, we thought it might be a good idea to really immerse ourselves in the clinical data that drove Abreva’s speed claims. This was a huge undertaking; this was a massive clinical study with a lot of “Data” to review.

But, to our surprise, there it was... A killer speed claim: “Abreva healed cold sores in as few as 2 ½ days.”

To this day, I still have no idea why this clinical data point was never found until the day we found it.

It had been sitting there all along. It was right there in black and white – literally. Maybe it was that you had to dig just a bit deeper in the data.

It did not matter to me, I knew this was going to transform Abreva and restore its Superior Position in the cold sore category.

We once again had the speed claim needed to market Abreva effectively to consumers, or that marketing idea (via a powerful claim) that enabled us to shift Consumers from a “Current Attitude and Behavior State”, where they didn't purchase Abreva”, to our “Desired Attitude and Behavior State”, where they did buy Abreva (and it is not cheap!)

Fast-forward 8 years later (right here and now) and go take a look at Abreva’s website.

Look at the latest advertising from the marketing team below.

Remember, if you’re not able to clearly articulate how you can take your consumers from the “Before” state to a “Desired After” state — you may have an issue with your Brands Positioning in the Marketplace.

There is nothing more important than ensuring your Brands Positioning is ownable and defendable. Your marketing and new product/service innovation pipeline is dependent upon having a growing group of Consumers that want and are willing to buy what you are selling.

Learn more about BreakOut Marketer and how our Expert Coaching Plans can help you create breakout business growth and a breakout career.

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– John Ziegler – CEO of BreakOut Marketer