THE BRAND RANT CONTINUES...
And by the way, a big thanks to everyone who pointed out the missing word last week.
The sentence should have read, "I drive a car to work, therefore mass transit doesn't work."
And if you missed the tee-up to that because instead of reading the screed, you were busy listening to important DR advertising on the radio, it was about the style of argument used by so many anti-branders: "I'm in direct marketing and I can prove the return on investment of each effort that I initiate. Therefore, branding doesn't work."
And yes, that rant continues this morning.
Along with your invitation to help us make the case against these nattering nabobs of brand negativism.
One argument was thus:
"YOU CAN'T TAKE BRAND AWARENESS TO THE BANK"
Of course not.
You also can't take your mother to the bank.
But your life would be impossible without her.
We were recently having a conversation with Dr. Sam of Dr. Sam's Eye Care.
As the faithful reader to the screed knows, Dr. Sam is one of Slow Burn Marketing's oldest clients.
We worked with him to rebrand United Eye Care Specialists.
Business had been flat for three years. And let's face it, there is nothing "United" about a one-doctor office in rural New Hampshire.
(In his defense, Dr. Sam did not name the business. It was saddled with that moniker when he bought it.)
NEW BRANDING AND RUNNING A BRANDED ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN DOUBLED HIS NEW PATIENT BASE
That took three months.
In 10 months, the business that was flat for three years was up 30%.
Beyond that, the branding helped turn Dr. Sam into a local celebrity.
He once handed some outgoing mail to a postman.
The postman looked at the envelopes, awestruck, and said, "Are YOU Dr. Sam?"
Patients come into the Dr. Sam's office and routinely repeat the brand tagline back to the people who work there: "Straight talk, better vision."
THE BRANDING ADVERTISING HAS CREATED BRAND AWARENESS
Dr. Sam is the top-of-mind eye doctor for his area in New Hampshire.
And he no longer runs as much advertising as he used to.
His brand is doing a lot of the work without it.
For instance, he sponsors a race car. He has the hood of a prominent local stock car driver, and it routinely brings him new patients.
(For all the pro-DR, anti-branding blather out there, tell me this: if branding doesn't work, explain how sports sponsorship is one of the single most effective uses of the advertising dollar in terms of ROI. There is no advertisement at all. There is a logo. Period. Yet the big brands who do it can prove the investment is worthwhile.)
HE ALSO SPONSORS LOCAL NON-PORIFTS
This is a surprisingly effective use of ad dollars.
He buys display ads in the printed programs for local events.
The Humane Society. The Girl Scouts. The non-profit arts organization.
The ads are simple and funny and NEVER talk about eye care except incidentally.
Instead, they create an emotional link to the event they're supporting.
One of the simplest was for the Humane Society.
It features a little yellow chick wearing an enormous pair of eyeglasses.
The headline says in huge letters, "SEE?"
And that's it.
THAT ADVERTISEMENT BROUGHT HIM NEW PATIENTS
All the ads supporting the non-profits do.
Slow Burn Marketing branded Dr. Sam's Eye Care.
Dr. Sam's Eye Care turned into a juggernaut.
There is no offer in any of the advertising beyond the implicit offer of a good eye doctor who is conscientious caring and gives it to you straight.
There is no hard call to action in the ads, just the phone number.
And they work, as The Fabulous Honey Parker would say, like a voodoo charm.
They make people like and trust a man who works in a business with a very long selling cycle.
ALL OF US HAVE STORIES ABOUT HOW BRANDS HAVE COME INTO OUR LIVES
We don't necessarily think of them as brands.
We often think of them as important people.
Often, we think of them as friends.
So, what's your story, either as a marketing professional or a customer?
How has a brand impacted your life?
Or do you walk around thinking, "Wow, that was a really good direct response ad. I'm glad I saw it."
Tell us about your brand story at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.