It's nice getting ammunition from the industry's big guns...
I've just been writing some radio advertising to promote radio advertising. (I'm not a narcissist. Really!) The message is going to ring inside your little marketer's heart. But I can't name names yet. That's because not all the intel is in my hot little hands. Yet. But here's the top line info...
One of the biggest gorillas in market research says you are right!
Let's face it, there's one reason you're here: on some level, you subscribe to the idea of branding big for a healthy tomorrow. You come back here each week to celebrate successes, laugh at the lunacy, and pick up new tools for more powerful marketing.
And at the core of all this relentless screed is a simple idea...
Branding your business with purpose and intent leads to power.
You get beyond the challenges of endless "me-too," buy-now advertising. You get to join the ranks of the commanding and authoritative brands that lead the pack.
Well, that previously mentioned market research gorilla agrees.
They have intel. It says as much as 70% of advertising is selling for today. As little as 30% of advertising is branding for tomorrow. Those numbers should be flipped. (At least, IMHO.)
In simplest terms, advertisers are yelling "Buy now!" to people who aren't gonna.
Most customers will not buy now. And by putting all effort into pushing the idea of immediate purchase, you're sacrificing sales tomorrow. Tomorrow is when many, many more customers are going to buy.
But putting money behind branding instead of buy-now'ing (that is a word--as far as you know), there's more opportunity for long-term health.
Know your brand, know your customer, and know that this is a long game...
Instead of having ongoing fire sales, you light a fire in the heart of your customer. And that goes a long way towards attracting them to buy, winning them as fans, and having them refer your business.
BOTTOM LINE: it makes no difference whether you're marketing your own business or doing it for a client. Building brand today is about more sales tomorrow. The numbers are on your side.
Not yet downloaded your free copy of Lightning Branding: How to Generate Revenue Faster With An Electrifying New Brand, there's still time. Just visit http://www.lightningbrandingbook.com.
For information about our new Lightning Branding courses, both do-it-yourself and we-do-it-with-you editions, click here. (There's even a video of us!)
Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in
At our house, we watch some delightfully dumb TV shows.
Among them is Beat Bobby Flay. This is another silly competition show on The Food Network that doesn't make a lot of sense. No doubt, it's profitable. Just 25 seasons and counting. It's maybe not as profitable as Worst Cooks In America. We're talking 20 seasons of a show that could be called Shameless Kitchen Idiots Bang Spatulas On Their Heads And Cry. But we don't watch that. For some inexplicable reason, we enjoy watching Bobby Flay get thrashed.
What's that? You don't know this icon of "unscripted" food-TV goodness?
Here's how it works: for 20 minutes, two frenzied challenger chefs conduct a kitchen haboob against each other using an ingredient chosen by Bobby. The winner of that first round gets to face off against Bobby in round two. In that round, Bobby and the challenger have 45 minutes to cook a challenger-specified "signature dish." Three professional judges (who are clearly not smart enough to figure out which dish came from one of the most famous chefs in America) choose the winner in a blind taste test. All throughout, there's trash talking against Bobby. Benign hilarity ensues.
Bobby's got a 62.5% winning record. There's almost 100% universal desire to see Bobby get spanked on national basic cable television. Whee!
Anyway, here's where the marketing fun comes in...
In a recent new-to-us rerun of this guilty pleasure, Bobby had to face-off against a chef who challenged him to make cacio e pepe.
Whassat? You no know how to say? Pronounce it like "catch-eeo ay pay-pay" and you're close enough. It's a traditional Roman dish of spaghetti, pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper. It was once a staple food of Italian shepherds because it's practical and easy. The ingredients keep well for a long time. Besides being stupidly simple to make, it offers the bonus of being really tasty. You can use it to impress a first date with your kitchen prowess. (Just keep your time amongst the sheep out of the story.)
It was clear: this challenger was ready to crush Bobby with her signature dish.
She was cocky in announcing the cacio e pepe challenge. During the bout, she was over in her station making fresh pasta. She was making a special parmigiano-Reggiano stock for cooking the pasta. She was making special parmesan cheese toast crisps to go with.
What was Bobby doing over in his station with his 45 minutes? Making a traditional cacio e pepe with dried spaghetti. Three basic ingredients. It doesn't take 45 minutes to make. So he did something interesting: he made the dish twice. The first time was a test run to make sure his dish was sound and competitive. The second time was his dish for the judges.
Fresh, fresh, fresh means win, win, win! Right?
The clever version of the dish had all kinds of problems for the judges-not the least of which was: it doesn't taste traditional.
And the fancy stock made for cooking the fresh pasta? It made the fresh pasta gloppy.
The parmesan toast crisps, well...did the Italian shepherds make those, too?
But Bobby's simple, pedestrian edition of a favorite staple food was admired by the judges.
Bottom line: the chef who didn't get clever and ran a test run of his dish crushed it.
So, are your advertising dishes getting too clever?
Or are they sticking to a proven model? Are you doing test runs against the proven dishes? Maybe most important, are they accused of being too clever? Are you just not listening to that feedback and testing it anyway? I've done that. Sometimes, the ad you'd thought would work simply doesn't. And sometimes, the ostensibly too-clever ad outperforms the proven dishes by 4:1.
Bottom line: there are good ideas, and ideas that aren't as good. And occasionally, there are going to be ideas that crush it by a factor of four to one. Sometimes, you don't know you've made a gloppy, over-fancy cacio e pepe. And once in a while, you'll know you've made a classic. But only the judges will confirm it when they vote with their dollars. Let them judge.
Now, about that free book and a few other things...
The Fabulous Honey Parker and I have a new book called, Lightning Branding: How To Generate Revenue Faster With An Electrified New Brand. It's yours free by clicking here.
For information about our new Lightning Branding courses, both do-it-yourself and we-do-it-with-you editions, click here.
Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in
Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.