Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Brand Suicide, Point Of View
One of the things I hate about marketing is how it now chases customers rather than attracts.
They basically say – or do – whatever it is their research says people want from them.
Which not only makes entire categories look, act and behave the same way, but it ultimately undermines the whole point of marketing in the first place.
Sure, every now and then you’ll get a ‘manifesto ad’ where a brands talks about what it believes … however, on closer inspection, you realise most of them are saying nothing whatsoever or are so contrived in their expression, that you realise they’ve been designed to blend in rather than stand out.
Great brands sacrifice.
Great brands polorise.
Great brands stand for something.
Great brands are stubborn bastards.
That doesn’t mean they don’t care about the people who embrace them, they do. The reality is their success is born from not trying to appeal to everyone, but to mean everything to someone.
Where loyalty is disproportionate.
But sadly, at least in terms of marketing, those days seem to be over.
Sure, there’s the odd brand out there that still proves the power of a strong point of view – the brands who were born from the culture they operate in – but in the main, the majority of communication out there is a bland, pandering, message of pleading beige.
The equivalent of a teenage boys begging an uninterested girl to love him.
I say this because I recently saw an ad for a wine merchants that gave me a modicum of hope.
Sure, they end it with a bit of a ‘sell out’ exclamation [but they still link it to the standards and quality that they believe makes them different to the competition], but at it’s heart, I like that they’re saying they know their shit and when they think you’re potentially going to make a mistake, they’ll tell you.
A focus group would claim this attitude ‘alienates the customer’.
That the brand is ‘condescending’ to its audience.
That the tone could ‘put someone off from going in the shop’.
That they should talk about their ‘royal seal of approval’ not their attitude.
But I say this … would you rather spend your money at a place that will happily let you walk out with something you might hate or a place that has the knowledge and experience to help you find something that will give a better experience than you originally imagined?
For that alone I congratulate Berry Bros & Rudd.
For ignoring the blandification of the focus group, I stand up and mightly applaud.
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