Mixed Messaging

If you want to delay sales and distort your brand, just mix a few messages. This came to light recently when a client needed to recast their brand, desiring their prospects to simultaneously feel relieved and excited. Though not entirely mutually exclusive, they are on opposite ends of the adrenaline spectrum. One might feel excited about the prospect of being relieved, but that is as close as these two concepts come. When a customer encounters you for the first time, they have to believe something about you. Even if they are skeptical, they must have in their hearts some notion about the value they would derive from giving you money. These value propositions, communicated in words, images, colors, videos and other modes can never be complicated (there isn’t enough time or customer patience) and they cannot be contradictory (“we will make you sexy and saintly”). For B2B companies, this is … Continue reading

Pointed Communications

trade Show Booth - Crowd Watching Presentation While Carpets Being Rolled-up

A relative of mine tells her stories … for hours … before ending them with her point. Good thing she isn’t in marketing. Get to the point quickly, then fill in the gaps. I was recently reminded of this while being a judge for the CODiE awards. I think I’m in my 573rd year of being a CODiE judge. The contestant’s presenter launched into a live demo of the product without summarizing what the product did much less its key value propositions. Thankfully he skipped the all-too-common dozen or so slides providing background about the company and other snore generators. He was like my relative, all too eager to tell his story as opposed to telling me why I should care. With attention spans shrinking fast as content explodes, getting to the point becomes ever more important. Telling people why they should care up front causes them to care. When … Continue reading

Warm Coke

One drop of water makes a difference. In marketing and product design, the accumulation of tiny details motivates people to want. I would argue that Apple designed the iPhone with a critical mass of tiny little features, and the one huge feature of simplicity. Together they wowed the world. In marketing, knowing the motivations of your target audience and subtly tickling each fancy creates an irresistible offering. Which makes me wonder when Coke forgot this reality. Coke is one of the best marketing machines on Gawd’s grey earth. From cuddly polar bears (who in real life can rip the flesh off a seal in seconds) to kumbaya songs suited to the hippie era, Coke touches consumer sentiments and constantly creates product preference (being a Georgia born southerner and former Atlanta resident, I have natural bias about their product anyway, as do most people south of Masson and Dixon). But Coke … Continue reading