Tag Archives: GM

So you do not have a differentiator. Now what?

Got an Idea?

When do you do when you do not have an idea. You badly want one..  ever been in such a situation? I am sure you would have been. Never be depressed in such a situation. Let things happen around you and watch them closely. This is something that has always worked for me. Whenever I have sat to think about an ad and I get nothing that is brilliant, I just go under a shower and just let myself free and wander and think about whatever comes to my mind and guess what ? I always do find n answer. And I say always. Sometimes I just doodle around and voila I get an idea out of nowhere. Simply because my accidental stroke of the pencil actually gave rise to a good idea.

I know this is not much like any of the other posts but today I am just happy and hence want to share it with you all. In fact I got so crazy that I thought of lovely ads for Volkswagen, Surf Excel, MaxFresh and a good one for my college and I am proud of that.

Positioning: The battle for your mind

Often I notice that I get stuck when the product or the entity I am thinking of advertising does not have any differentiation because according to me that is what enables a good ad. The presence of a creneau in the head of your prospect where you can put your differentiator and see it grow and occupy a ladder in the mind of your prospect and eventually see your brand build and gain identity. But what if you do not have a differentiator or the fact that you do have a good differentiator but the prospects or the target do not perceive it to be present. Advertising is all about perception. It is not the better product that wins the race but the better ‘perceived’ product. So no matter how good and solid GM cars are they will not be perceived as good as Volvo because they own the differentiator of being safe and solid.

So what do you do when you do not have a differentiator?

You look for what I put as, soft factors. Go through the irrational route, capture emotion in your ad. Human brain is a sucker for emotion and is hardwired to be emotional. And sometimes it is the most powerful way to capture the mind of your prospect. Be the prospect and think what he/she would like to listen, in fact love to listen. You cannot bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them said David Ogilvy. Especially in a print ad make sure that you are not in the zone of indifference, either the prospect should love your ad or hate it. The former obviously being the most ideal situation but the latter at least gives you a chance to learn and impress your prospect next time, when he/she is least expecting it to be. Print ad gives you a marvelous opportunity to talk to the prospect, alone. If you can make the prospect read what you want to say then you have done a good job for sure. What’s the big deal in making them read, you might say? But hold on. “The Average readership of a body in magazine ads are 5%” and this figure is of yesteryears, it’s surely come down now. So, that means if you don’t treat the print ad with respect and thought you waste 95% of your resources and with sky rocketing print media charges that is really high figure.

Now since you have decided to take the soft route of persuasion what all are the factors that you can incorporate in you communication?  Use humor- It always has above average recall. Put a slice of life in your ads and make them realistic and hence charming. Add emotion and always back it up with a rational excuse to justify the emotional content. Be honest and genuine. Honesty shows up in an ad. Well these are just some of the ways.

The sucker emotional brain

If you love your ad then others would like it. But if you only like your ad, others won’t be that impressed. Make ads that mean something to people, so that they can connect the dots. Pat wolfe, author of Brain matters: Translating Research into classroom practice , explains, “Neural networks ‘check out’  sensory stimuli as soon as they enter the brain to see if they form a familiar pattern, If they do, a match occurs, and the brain determines that the new stimuli are familiar. In this case, we could say that the new information makes sense or has meaning. What happens if there is no match? The brain may attend to the meaningless information for a short period of time because it is novel; but if it can make no sense out of the incoming stimuli, the brain will probably not process them further……An idea will be meaningful only if it relates to the listeners experience”

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We know what it takes to be a Tiger. Yeah?

We know it too

Ask Accenture said my last blog and they have spoken, albeit, silently. Search for Tiger Woods in their website and it comes as page not found (on Sunday). Accenture dropped the contract with Tiger Woods on Dec 13. According to me one of the best celebrity branding episodes draws curtains now. With due respect to the supporters of celebrity branding- My deep condolences. Gillette has dropped tiger from any further promotions. AT&T is evaluating further move to keep him or not. Gatorade had dropped him prior to the scandal. Nike and TagHeuer are still backing him or at least not reacting in an adverse manner. So from now on you won’t see Accenture telling that ‘We know what it takes to be a Tiger’. Instead its website now reads – Accenture wishes only the best for Tiger Woods and his family.

 There was a time when he was called “The world’s most marketable athlete.” By many marketing research firms. Wonder what they would say now. This just makes me again and again reiterate my clichéd point that celebrity endorsements is a worthless risk that whose cost benefit analysis is clearly unfavorable. There are too many uncontrollable elements in there. And as a marketer, you don’t want too many uncontrollable factors.

But then what are the implications for Accenture? And why is EA and Nike still making sense by supporting him?

EA sports support Tiger

Let’s say there are two factors- the Hard (core) factors and the Soft (complementing) factors. In Tiger Woods case the hard factor is simply his Golf. Any brand he endorses strictly due to his game and nothing else, would have hired him because of his hard factors and any brand hiring him for his qualities like humility, personality and other qualitative aspects would hire him because of soft factors.

So it’s clear to see that Accenture was more of a soft factor decision as compared to EA (Tiger Woods golf game) and Nike (Nike golf). This means as for the hard factors, Tiger Woods still remains the one of the best in the history of golf, even if he becomes gay but as for his soft factors, he is not exactly the ideal idol anymore. So it makes sense for Accenture and Gillette to drop him. So according to this AT&T should be dropping Tiger as I don’t see any mutual benefit the association can deliver. Even TagHeuer makes sense as they and woods collaborated closely to develop the world’s first professional golf watch, released in April 2005. The lightweight, titanium-construction watch was designed to be worn while playing the game. However, TagHeuer won’t rush for a renewed contract for sure.

Tiger woods Cadillac Escalade crash

Funny thing was he had an accident in GMs Cadillac Escalade, the brand that he endorsed earlier. As if GM had lesser woes already.

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