The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Operate Yourself To A Better Golf Swing …

So when I was at the hospital a few weeks ago for Otis, I saw this …

Yep, it’s a brochure for the spinal specialists at a Shanghai hospital … a brochure that says your golf swing could be radically improved by their medical intervention.

Now on one level, I find this genius.

I really do.

Whereas most people put up with a bad back, they’ve recognised a group of people who won’t. Or at least could be easily convinced not too.

Not because they care about the state of their spine or their overall health … but because they are competitive. And given playing golf in China means you have to have a ton of cash, the hospital know they’re targeting a group of people who are likely to have the money to pay for it.

In some ways, that’s brilliant ‘audience’ targeting. On the other, it’s pretty sad.

Not just because we have a hospital looking to profit from the vain, but that these people value their sporting prowess more than their overall wellbeing.

That said, I still grudgingly respect what these guys have done – especially when I’ve seen so many client briefs over the years, that say they want to target anyone as opposed to being meaningful to someone.

Which all serves as a valuable reminder that the best brands mean everything to someone not something to everyone.

In other words, they focus on the culture of the category, not purely focused on appealing to the potential users of the category.


17 Comments so far
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But if “the best brands mean everything to someone not something to everyone” doesn’t that imply reliance on heavy users and loyalty? What’s wrong with meaning quite a lot to a lot of people? That doesn’t have to be bland does it?

And did you send the brochure to Forest yet?

Comment by John

Good point John. But I don’t believe loyalty automatically translates to heavy usage, but it should always mean being emotionally significant with the audience. There are many products that enjoy heavy usage that owe their success more to routine and distribution than loyalty.

Comment by George

I didn’t mean to give that impression – I should have written “and/or”

Comment by John

One persons “quite a lot” is another persons “a lot”.

Comment by DH

But it’s not “everything”

Comment by John

One persons “everything” is another persons “average”.

Comment by DH

A good description of his blog.

Comment by John

Fair enough, but usage and loyalty aren’t necessarily the same thing. Just like profit and popularity isn’t. Maybe it’s more to do with ‘disproportionateness’ … if there’s such a word.

The disproportionate amount of time, money, engagement a person has with a brand they believe in and a brand that simply fulfils a need.

Comment by Rob

Yes, but my point is that the amount of someones for whom a brand means everything is going to be relatively few and thus to make a significant profit you’re going to require them to buy lots of the stuff at high margins.

I agree with the underlying point you’re making, but it does come with business implications. If you don’t have usage and profit, you don’t have a business let alone a brand.

Comment by John

Perhaps the word you’re looking for is ‘unreasonable’,

I.e. an attachment beyond reason …

Comment by Ian Gee

I agree John … that was both Apple and Guinness’ problem. I’m simply responding to your point about ‘heavy usage’, which I don’t necessarily agree with, but acknowledge ‘liking but not buying’ is not something any brand wants. Or needs.

Comment by Rob

If they think that’s the perfect golf swing, I wouldn’t let them touch my spine.

Comment by DH

You must have killer medical insurance. But you do have lots wrong with you.

Comment by Billy Whizz

He probably negotiated free insurance by claiming his medical history lets them see if the hospitals they send people to are any good at getting patients out and sorted.

Comment by DH

Sounds like campbell.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I have seen hospitals in the UK and US also promote their services in this way Robert. As you say, it’s smart and also a little sad.

Comment by Lee Hill

So are you saying China is back to it’s copying best? Haha.

Don’t worry, I know you’re not.

Comment by Rob




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