Monday, April 19, 2010

Where there's muck, there's brass

One of the most difficult tasks in marketing communications is developing promotional messages for your own company. Perhaps the most obvious reason is that we lack objectivity - the very objectivity that makes us valuable to our clients.

One of the temptations is to describe our business as something more complex or grandiose than it actually is. In conversations with the principals terms like 'paradigm shifting' seem to erupt with a curious regularity. Other buzzwords include 'engagement' slide in with the greasy ease of jargon du jour.

I'm inclined to think in terms of outcomes. Rather than waffle on about ourselves, doesn't it make sense to think in terms of what our customers want? Things that have real value - even if they are real simple?

The process of identifying the correct messages - how we meet underserved needs -has the secondary effect of forcing us to think about the kinds of product innovations are worth developing for our clients and prospects.

Our company is a very pragmatic entity. Our advertising products are systematic, rather than idiosyncratic conceptual offerings. While other advertising companies treasure the 'creative' product we simply produce advertising that is quicker, cheaper and proven to be more effective than the more conventional, bespoke alternative.

In order to better understand how our staff perceive the company the call went out to write a short description - a lift pitch. My pitch is that BrandWorld is the Toyota Corolla of advertising: It goes well, is reliable, not too fancy, has had loads of happy customers and is a bargain.

I realise there's not much status in owning a Toyota Corolla but in all honesty I would rather have the value generated by all of the Corollas in the world than ever dollar spent on Aston Martins.

Hopefully we won't be distracted in our ultimate communications decisions. Our products may not be 'sexy' by the usual measures (All of our main products have won marketing awards, but would show well in 'creative' beauty parade), but they succeed on every other scale.

Sometimes there's truth in truisms. Where there's muck, there's brass.

BrandWorld's website

4 comments:

  1. It's a good point. The Toyota Corolla analogy will work for just about every possible client except for the most insecure.

    One thing, it would be better to talk about 'results' rather than 'outcomes'.

    Outcomes is another buzzword. It comes from the world of government rather than marketing.

    Anyone can deliver outcomes. Only a good business gets results.

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  2. Love that. The "Toyota Corolla of advertising". I think Saab is more appropriate though David.

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  3. Thanks for the comment Bill. Outcome and result are interchangeable in my view. But semantics aside, I want to people to change their behaviour as a result of being exposed to messages made by my firm on behalf of our clients - and I can say with confidence that is the result we deliver.

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  4. Glenn, I'll stick with Corolla if it's all the same to you?

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