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Feb 26, 2023

We all know that a key component of any marketing strategy is to get your customers to talk about you and share what they have purchased with their network. But did you know this goes both ways? 

It takes more than just getting people to buy from you, it also means making sure they actually consume or use the products that they purchase from you as well! 

This is important because if a person does not use or consume what they have purchased from you then they will not experience any of the benefits. Hence, there's no reason for them to tell anyone else about it. As we all know referrals are an essential part of any business marketing mix. And by encouraging consumption or utilisation of your product or service, you are making it easier for them to refer others to you.

So, let’s look at a company that does this exceptionally well. Apple!

I love opening my latest Apple purchase, do you?


  1. Because everything is beautifully packaged.

  2. Once you open the box - everything is intuitive as to what to do next

  3. Once the product is turned on the instructions are clear, simple and bold.

  4. Thanks to their exceptional marketing, I know the pleasure that lies ahead of me when I use it. 

In fact, consumption starts with the marketing. I like how Gene Schwartz said it, where “your ad is simply the functional product - details of what it does for them - sent to them in advance of the product itself”.

And while a lot of businesses are just glad to get a sale, and hope nobody refunds, that is playing not to lose instead of playing to win. 

Fact is that great marketers always think of two "sales" you have to make.

(1) The product sale, and (2) the sale of them consuming the product or service.

So how can you encourage your customers to consume what they have purchased from you? 

There are a few ways: 

  • Offering educational materials or tutorials that show them how to use the product in an easy and fun way. 

  • Making sure the product is easy to use, and if it's not give them support as well. 

  • Make sure there are clear instructions that show how to do what they want or need to do with your product or service.

Once again, Apple does this exceptionally well - they are always innovating and creating new products that not only look great but are easy to use as well. And thanks to their exceptional marketing, customers know the pleasure that awaits them when they open the box. 

You can see this in action with the iPad - what's inside the box is just as important (if not more) than the product itself! 

So, if you want to sell your products or services, make sure that there are no barriers between your customers and their enjoyment of them by encouraging consumption every step of the way. 

One of the things we must keep in mind is that once a person makes a purchase in your environment, like in your store, on your sales page, in your Instagram feed or at a conference or in a sales office. When they return into their world the stresses and strains of their environment return.

Often, they purchased your product to improve their lives, but now their normal environment is what gets in the way of them using your offering. So, you need to have a plan to overcome this.

  • A way is to follow up with them and remind them of the benefits of using your product or service. 

  • Showcase how others are using your product or service in an inspiring way. 

  • Use client testimonials to show how they overcame the same struggles by using your offering. 

The important thing is to never stop encouraging your customers to consume what they have purchased from you. This will create a stronger connection with them and make it more likely that they will refer others to you in the future.

Let me give you another example...

Recently I signed up for an online course called Ship 30. It is about content creation and it doesn’t start until next month. For the record it wasn't cheap and like any buyer it wasn't long before I started feeling buyer’s remorse. 

But thanks to some well-timed, well thought out emails, preparing me for next month I am now fired up and ready to get started.

It didn't take much, some links to helpful videos, some case studies of what others like me have achieved and it’s a wrap.

What about services how can you encourage consumption?

The best way to overcome the resistance that people have to consuming what they purchase, especially services, is by helping them see how easy it is to get started.

  • Offer a free consultation or trial period so they can try out the service. 

  • here too, provide educational materials. One great example from a local health club is to introduce 30-day or 14-day challenges for members with built in rewards and incentives.

If you are looking for great examples just watch what Netflix and Spotify do to encourage consumption. Being continuity services where you can easily cancel at the end of a month - these services are the master of keeping you engaged and of course subscribing.

So, in a nutshell, encourage customers to consume what they purchase from you, both in the moment and after the fact. 

The key takeaway here is that it's not enough to simply make a sale; instead, you need to think about your customer's consumption habits as well so that they will use what you have sold them and become fully satisfied with their decision. 

As has already been said - the only way you will grow your referral network is by having satisfied and fully engaged customers and clients.