When Reality Messes With Your Marketing

When Reality Messes With Your Marketing

If you read all the junk out there on marketing (including my own) you’ll conclude that your situation is messed up.

Your logo doesn’t really tell your story, but it is too expensive to change. Your name doesn’t address your brand, and that is too late too. There is no time nor budget to do research, only to potentially hear what we already know, and I need results fast to not get fired.

My answer to any of that is lets get going anyway. Sure there will be a price to pay if our brand message is even a little misdirected. We surely are stuck with your name and logo, and we can’t justify the expensive inaction as we research your situation.

The fact is, every situation has greater needs in some areas than others. There is more currency in some names, and logos even when they are no longer quite relevant. Compromises in the process are expected.

The important thing to do is get on the right path, and maintain that direction. Get there as best as you can. Certain areas will delay you, others can be skipped through and still others will be undesirables, yet given.

We will speak of a North Star that the brand has to follow. But following a star ignores all the terrain and political difficulties that will arise on the journey. Just be relentless as you take the path. The direction is the important thing.

The Genius in Creative is What You Don’t See

The Genius in Creative is What You Don’t See

“Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan”. It is true of great creative. Great creative starts with a daring client who understands that as long as the marketing and branding goals are met, be as outrageous as you dare.

It takes a marketing plan that everyone believes in and makes realistic sense for the brand.

Finally, it takes a creative mind capable of getting into the mind of the audience, then is able to interpret the benefits of an offer, and blending it with the rules of the media used, the brand and psychology delivers an impact.

All that has to go into it for it to be good. It wasn’t just a useful brainstorming.

 

Put an End to Logos

Put an End to Logos

Widget Maker: We are a new company. We have a great location, a recognizable name, a solid market that will love us, and now we need a logo.

Marketer: No you don’t.

Widget Maker: That is silly. Of course we do. We need something to put on our building, business cards and stationery.

Marketer: Why not just put up this recognizable name of yours? Why make people go through the steps of visualizing your logo just to recognize your name. Just put up the name instead.

Widget Maker: Get out. You don’t know anything about marketing.

Marketer: I know about human nature. You don’t need your name to be read aloud, you need that name to mean something. Surely one of the best ways to deliver the meaning of your brand is through a logo. People will recognize it in a snapshot, but that is only useful if they recognize the meaning of brand that logo represents at the same time. Your brand doesn’t need a logo, your brand needs meaning. Without that meaning, a logo is useless.

You will get a logo. But it is only a tool to convey the meaning we will help develop for your brand. If I were to give you a logo first, I would be providing you no service.

Robin Williams on Golf: How to Launch a Brand

Robin Williams on Golf: How to Launch a Brand

The classic Robin Williams bit on the invention of golf is really a lesson on launching a unique brand. At the time there was no demand for the new sport of golf. As a marketer, and not a comedian, I’d have argued that the world was in need of a frustrating five-hour competition in a tightly managed wilderness. Then I would have introduced the sport of golf as the solution to that need that no one realized existed until I told them it did.

My story would not be nearly as humorous, but it might have been successful. This skit, and the story of Red Bull energy drink are identical in that regard.

They both created a need. Invented a marketplace that didn’t exist before they made an argument for it, then they introduced their product as a way to fill that need.

So don’t fear launching a brand new product. Just push the category that it satisfies, whether that need is recognized to exist or not. Then introduce the new product as the solution to that dire category, which screams for attention.

Just be careful. This is inappropriate for work. Sure there is foul language, but the loud laughter it creates may be unproductive.

 

The Seven Deadly Sins Are Your Friends

The Seven Deadly Sins Are Your Friends

15801919559_a4331dc6a6_mThe new year has arrived, and we celebrated the most hedonistic of holidays. Celebrate to excess on New Year’s Eve, while counting down the inevitable.Then, lounge about on New Years Day, watching parades and bowl games. The only honoree is Father Time, who appropriately changes into an infant at midnight. What symbol is more self absorbed? The only gifts given are those that are to be consumed that day.

The very idea reminds me of the most fundamental rule of advertising. To promote a product, appeal to one of the seven deadly sins. Pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth may carve your path to Hades, but suggesting that your brand will feed any of these will help make that brand successful.

How many times have you been attracted to a product that made one of these promises?

  • A beer that makes you popular with women (beer teaches marketing, I always say).
  • A car that makes others stop and look at you drive down the street.
  • A restaurant where you feast like a king.
  • A cake mix that lets you get back at the perennial baking queen by just opening a box.
  • Financial services that make you wealthier.
  • A home appliance that does the work for you.It works.

Plain and simple. So when you are about to find a marketing angle for your next project, be sure to ask how that product will make the user envied, sexy, rich, pretty, fat or lazy.

Analytic vs. Imaginitive: List Selection vs. Creative – Not What You’d Think

Analytic vs. Imaginitive: List Selection vs. Creative – Not What You’d Think

right-brain-left-brain-ss-1920-792x600You would expect that the artist at an advertising agency is the creative team, and the numbers geeks in data selection are the analytical ones, wouldn’t you? In fact, most people would bet on it.

However, the opposite is true. Sure, each of them are mired in the rolls we expect them to hold, but the geniuses in each of those areas are the ones who employ the opposite talent.

The list is the most important part of an advertising campaign. How do we get our message most efficiently in front of the right audience? No matter the media, we can find a lot of data about audience behavior. What they do for a living, how much money they make, their family structure and set of beliefs tell us a lot about the products they are likely to purchase. But everyone knows that. Your competitors know that. To set yourself above the rest, you need someone who can read into all that data, information that isn’t obvious.

For instance, if you are selling carpet cleaning, find pet owners, or homeowners with children. Their dirty carpets need cleaning. But how about identifying drivers of cherry red Ford Mustangs? That color is daring and catches attention when sparkling clean. That group is likely to be particular about their surroundings and fond of cleanliness. You may find a golden audience with that group. Create a message just for them, and you are likely to find success.

So now, you move that assignment to the creative team. Their task is to develop a message that promotes the need of clean carpets to the audience of proud red Mustang owners. It must convey a sales offer, and hold true to the branding requirements of the offeror (let’s hope their corporate colors don’t clash with a red Mustang) and must do so within the physical limits of the media chosen. A 30-second TV spot, print on a 6″ x 11″ postcard, or remain under the seven words readable on billboards of various, unknown placements.

The creative team does what they do under more rules than we know, whereas, the audience identification crew starts with accepted knowledge, and has unlimited imagination available to them to enhance the program’s reach.

If a program is successful, you can probably count on one of those teams being able to use the other side of their brain to lead the success.