Let me ask me it again…
What is the best thing you could do for your client?
- Giving them a return on investment (ROI)
- Saving them money
- Bringing them increased notoriety
- Building brand awareness
- Giving them great service as a vendor
- Supplying them a great end-product (in terms of an effective campaign)
- Instilling confidence in their brand
- Motivating new customer sales
- Providing outstanding creative direction
- Reinforcing a positive image
- None of the above
In my opinion, it’s “none of the above.”
I believe that the best thing a marketing firm, ad agency or design boutique can do is to help the client step out of the pack. It is essential for the marketing entity to craft a campaign that creates a memorable and lasting impression–one that involves product differentiation. Indeed, staying an unknown commodity does not drive business. Being different and a “trend setter” can put more distance between your client and the competition. In other words, “status quo” advertising will not work. The client needs a fresh approach that will promote differentiation.
It is important to develop a voice and a consistent message. Of greatest value is the creation of a campaign with a theme or message that resonates for years to come. For instance, BMW will forever be known as the “ultimate driving machine” due largely to the legendary campaign showing a topless coupe zooming down the roadway. The ad contained the unforgettable slogan, “the ultimate driving machine.” Of course, the rest is history.
Here’s some important questions to ask the client…
1) What makes your product or service special?
2) Is there a unique benefit your product or service offers?
3) Does it have a special use?
4) Is your firm the sole source supplier/distributor for this type of product or service?
5) Does it have a distinct size or shape?
6) Will people pay extra for the special feature(s)?
7) Does your product or service result in cost savings for the consumer?
Developing an effective marketing plan will be essential to pinpointing the target audience and building a strategy to direct advertising resources at that select group. Without a marketing plan that maximizes advertising “exposures” to the target audience, your client will be shooting in the dark. It takes a skilled marketing firm or ad agency to set up such a plan.
Now let’s face it, most advertising message do not result in legendary advertising campaigns. But, what is important is that your client’s message is memorable, easily recognizable and behavior inducing. Consistency is so important in this mix. All materials and advertising must have a consistent look and feel.
Then, once you have devised a memorable campaign based on product differentiation, you will have gone a long way to 1) giving your client a return on investment (ROI), 2) saving them money on costly ineffective campaigns, 3) bringing them increased notoriety, 4) building brand awareness, 5) giving them great service as a vendor, 6) supplying them a great end-product (in terms of an effective campaign), 7) instilling confidence in their brand, 8) motivating new customer sales, 9) providing outstanding creative direction and 10) reinforcing a positive image. In other words, “all of the above,” instead of “none of the above.”
Go ahead and help your client to differentiate. You’ll probably find that it has lots of impact!
If your company needs an innovative ad campaign, e-publication, or promotion based on differentiation, please contact HWDS at firstname.lastname@example.org. We make beautiful things happen. To find out more, please visit westdesign.com
Harlan West is the author of successfulcorporatecommunications.com and has been working as a creative director and design professional for more than 25 years and has designed and art directed hundreds of publications for both print and online purposes.