When positioning a brand there is always a fight between selling a product emotionally, and taking a more pragmatic approach that lists product features and sellable product value. The Best advertising campaigns manage to find a balance between these two. The best television ads have a clear understanding of the ubiquity of the product. For products with exemplary features, the decision is quite easy. All they need to do is roll out the product, and show it in action. Branding accomplished!
But the hard truth is that most products are not that different. Soap is pretty much soap. There is not that much difference between beers. One airline seat is pretty much like the next. Once a product reaches this level of ubiquity, the best television ads will leave product feature marketing behind and take a more customer emotion focus. These brands begin by asking themselves, what is customer focus? Then, they build a brand from the customer’s identity out.
What is customer relationship marketing? It is being smart enough to know that your customers relationship with the product is not based solely on its features and benefits. Customers want a relationship with their products. They don’t just want the job done, they want acknowledgment that this product shares their values, their priorities, and that using it is in harmony with their own identity.
The best television ads find a balance between these competing priorities of product feature selling, and customer identity marketing. Positioning a brand requires a clear understanding of just how common your product has become. The best television ads will create an aura that makes us feel better about ourselves. This is one of the most important lessons when positioning a brand.
The problem is that many manufacturers have a tendency to fall in love with their product. They have spent so much time, energy, and money creating this incredible product that it has become their baby. They find it hard to imagine that anyone could not be in love with their product. They feel as though the features are exemplary even when they are lackluster. These are companies that forgot to ask themselves, what is customer focus? Their own love affair with the fruits of their labor have swayed them and made them doting parents who have lost their objectivity.
The best advertising campaigns take a hard, unflinching look at their product category and quickly acknowledge when their product has matured and the product features have become a commodity. The best television ads will try not to sell a feature that is not exemplary. Crowing about not that special features only reinforces the fact that the product is just one of the herd.
Companies that are great at positioning a brand will continually do a gut check on their own ego. The best advertising campaigns understand that we are all proud parents who have lost our objectivity. This is an ad agencies greatest duty is to make sure that the customer understands that their product is usually not that different. The difference in the best advertising campaigns is created when the customer’s identity is the foundation of the sell, not just general features.
What is customer focus? It is a focus on a reflection of the user’s identity. It is like holding up a mirror and showing the customer herself so that when she uses the product, she feels an affirmation of her own identity. The best advertising campaigns center the sell around her. The best television ads will show her on camera at her best when using the product. Positioning a brand is about understanding this balance.
The key is to let the product features be a secondary driving force. When positioning a brand let the customers own ego be the central theme of the commercial. But this does not mean leaving out the product features. The best advertising campaigns will skillfully combine a great product feature with a wonderful emotional sell. They understand what is customer focus. They ask themselves, what is customer relationship marketing, and then build a dual purpose campaign around both ego and product features.
These are the attributes of the best television ads. This is what positioning a brand is all about, and the best advertising campaigns will clearly establish a dual purpose.
Below is a transcription of the three-minute emotional marketing lesson video: “What is Customer Relationship Marketing: Building Motherhood Brands” by emotional marketing speaker Graeme Newell of 602 Communications.
Hi I’m Graeme Newell. Think spitting on other people is not so good? Well the good folks at Ragu beg to differ. Spit is the ultimate testament of love.
A fun spot and Ragu has subtly charmed moms with a double barrel blast of emotional marketing. They commiserate with moms about all the crazy stuff they do,
but they also show that when they serve pasta, they becomes a hero to their own children. No matter the childhood scar, pasta makes everything right.
Ragu was smart enough to realize pasta sauce isn’t about taste or thickness or any of those things. It’s about motherhood.
Pasta sauce is a commodity. But some of Ragu’s competitors just can’t seem to break the habit of crowing about product features.
Blah, blah, thick…blah, blah healthy… blab, blab, etc.
Smart markets never kid themselves. They swallow the tough news when their product has become a commodity, and move to the next life-stage of a brand – dedicated emotional marketing.
There are a zillion fabric softeners, but there’s only one Downy.
Sure, they’re still selling features like “renewing scent pearls,” but P&G is smart enough to let magic moments with family be the foundation of the entire brand. Product features play a supporting role.
Too many brands never get over themselves. We see car commercials that expect us to be dazzled by generic sedan video, and beer commercials that point out obscure product differences.
It’s vital that marketers have the courage to tell their clients when a product just isn’t special anymore. Then, they can begin the hard work of building a brand that diminishes the importance of product features. Great brands can be built around commodity products, but your marketing must grow up. It must mirror back the most fascinating person in your customer’s life – herself. I’m Graeme Newell and that’s emotional marketing.