Emotional Advertising must start with an Emotional Brief

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emotionsAs Brand Leaders are starting to see the value in being more emotionally connected, we see them going to their agencies asking for more emotional advertising and communication.  Of course the agency would love to do emotional work.  So it’s off to the races?   Well, not quite.  Three weeks later, all the emotional ads get rejected.  The problem is the brief, which had zero emotion.  These emotional ads developed by the creative teams were just random emotional ads, not connected to any real consumer insight or any desired emotional space the brand can own.  

To do great emotional advertising that is on strategy with the brand, there must be a brief that starts with how the consumer feels now (consumer insights) and defines how we want the consumer to feel after they experience advertising (an emotional desired response).  

You Need Deep Emotional Insights

The dictionary definition of the word Insight is “seeing below the surface”.   When most Brand Leaders write insights they write about how they use their product or just facts and trends about the consumer.  But those aren’t really insights.  Facts are merely on the surface, they are knowledge, not insight.  Facts miss out on the depth and fail to really bring the target market to life.  Facts are fairly superficial and stay at the surface level.  

To demonstrate knowledge of that target, defining consumer insights help to crystallize and bring to life the consumer you are targeting.  Insights help tell the story, paint the picture or inspire the creative juices.  Insights need to be interesting or intriguing.  My challenge is to think beyond specific category insights and think about Life Insights or even Societal Trends  that could impact changing behaviour.  

Slide1Insight is something  we already know and it comes to life when it’s told in such a captivating way that makes consumers stop and say “hmm, I thought I was the only who felt like that”.  That’s why we laugh when we see insight projected with humor, why we get goose bumps when insight is projected with inspiration and why we cry when the insight comes alive through real-life drama.  We see ourselves and we feel connected to how the insight is projected.  

When trying to come up with insights, I recommend you try to put yourself in the shoes of your target consumer and project thought how they might feel by using their voice.  Brainstorm insights by starting each insight as a quote that starts with the word “I” and you will see statements get deeper and more personal.

As you brainstorm, to get deeper, keep asking yourself “so what does that mean for the consumer” until you have an “AHA moment”.  While it’s possible to see the behavior of your consumer, you can’t always see the values, beliefs and attitudes that help explain how consumers think, feel or act in relationship to your brand or category.   You must go below the surface.  

Another way to really capture is to focus on your consumers’ enemy.  Yes, it’s natural to think about your consumers problem, but you might find yourself getting a bit more creative if you push yourself to think of who your consumers enemy is.  Unknown

    • For Starbucks, the consumers enemy is the “hectic life” of your average soccer mom–driving the kids around, rushing to get to work, trying to get everything done on their to-do lists, buy everything on the shopping list and get enough sleep.  Starbucks attacks that enemy:  you can order your favorite elaborate drink, do so in Italian, eat cute little pastries and sit in leather chairs listening to soft music.  There are no screaming kids, no play land and no kids items on the menu.  Ahhhh peace and quiet, even if it’s just for 15 minutes during the day.  And to cap it off, you can order off an attractive 21-year-old who knows your name and even what you like to drink.  So Starbucks attacks “hectic life” of the consumer in everything they do.  
    • For Apple, the consumers enemy is “frustration”.   While we all use computers, very few of us are competent.  We hate having to set up the computer, run virus protection software, fix things that go wrong and have to figure out the most minute details of your system preferences.  Unknown-1Apple attacks the enemy of “frustration” making your computer so easy to set up and use, apps for every potential need you might have a genius bar with experts to help you figure anything out.  The “Mac versus PC” advertising was based on the enemy of “frustration”.  

Leading with your consumers enemy is a great way to connect with your target market, and they engage and listen to your message.  

Find the emotional Benefit

People tend to get stuck when trying to figure out the emotional benefits.  I swear every brand out there thinks it is trusted, reliable and yet likeable.  It seems that not only do consumers have a hard time expressing their emotions about a brand, but so do Brand Managers.   Companies like Hotspex have mapped out all the emotional zones for consumers.   I’m not a researcher, but if you’re interested in this methodology contact Hotspex at http://www.hotspex.biz  Leverage this type of research and build your story around the emotions that best fit your consumer needs.  Leveraging Hotspex, I’ve mapped out 8 zones in a simplistic way below:

Within each of the zones, you can find emotional words that closely align to the need state of the consumer and begin building the emotional benefits within your Customer Value Proposition.  It almost becomes a cheat sheet for Brand Managers to work with.  But you want to just own one emotional zone, not them all.  

Brands are either better, different or cheaper.  Or not around for very long.  The key is to find a unique selling proposition for your brand.  You don’t always need to find a rational point of difference as long as there is room to be emotionally unique.  

USP 2.0

Find Your Emotional Zone You want to Own

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email-Logo copyABOUT BELOVED BRANDS INC.:  At Beloved Brands, we are only focused on making brands better and making brand leaders better.Our motivation is that we love knowing we were part of helping someone to unleash their full potential.  We promise to challenge you to Think Different.  We believe the thinking that got you here, will not get you where you want to go.  grOur President and Chief Marketing Officer, Graham Robertson is a brand leader at heart, who loves everything about brands.  He comes with 20 years of experience at companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer Consumer, General Mills and Coke, where he was always able to find and drive growth.  Graham has won numerous new product and advertising awards. Graham brings his experience to your table, strong on leadership and facilitation at very high levels and training of Brand Leaders around the world.  To reach out directly, email me at graham@beloved-brands.com 

At Beloved Brands, we love to see Brand Leaders reach their full potential.  Here are the most popular article “How to” articles.  We can offer specific training programs dedicated to each topic.  Click on any of these most read articles:

Ask Beloved Brands to run a workshop to find your brand positioning or ask how we can help train you to be a better brand leader.

Why Can’t Brand Leaders Focus?

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Slide1Every part of what you learn about marketing starts and ends with FOCUS.   Yet, the area that marketers struggle the most with is FOCUS.  If you sit in an elementary marketing class, you’ll learn about target markets, brand positioning and making choices in strategy.  These are all the element of focus.  Yet, in the “real world”, we get scared to target because we might be leaving someone out, we try to be as many things as possible because we aren’t sure of what we are and we try to do as many activities as we can, just in case one of those activities sells a few more of our brand.  Fear of missing something.  

I once worked with a bank who told me that their target for a First Time Mortgage was 18-65, new customers, current customers and employees.  I said “you’ve forgotten tourists and prisoners”. aboutus_roi_70812766-300x228 By the very nature of advertising, we’d expect current customers and employees to see the ads, so let’s take them off the target.  And yes, the odd 18-year-old might be wanting to buy a house, and there might be a few 64 year olds that have been renting for 40 years and tired of their land lord.  But in reality, they won’t be offended if there is a 32-year-old in the ad.  Now you can take this focus even further.  You have to matter to those who care the most.  The only people who care about your message are those that are close to buying a house. No one needs a mortgage until they are buying a house. And no buys their first house on an impulse. It likely takes up to a year to buy.  So what if we said your target is “28-33 year olds who are already considering buying a house within the next year”.   Imagine the difference in the message and in the media choices you might make now.

Focus starts with making decisions.  Slide1And that’s where the difficulty lies.  If you present an either-or situation to most brand leaders, they struggle with the decision, so they say “let’s do a little of both”.  They call themselves a “good decision maker”.  But in reality, what separates out a great brand leader from the pack, is great brand leaders know that decision-making starts with the choices where you have to pick one, not both.  Great marketers use the word “or” and avoid the word “and”.  If you aren’t making choices, then you aren’t making decisions.

The reasons why you need to Focus
  1. Every brand is constrained by resources—dollars, people and time.  If I went up to the biggest brands in the world and said what’s your biggest problem, they would say “we don’t have enough money to do everything we want to do”.  That’s normal. But that doesn’t mean you then go do everything you want to do.  Focus makes you have to matter the most to those who care the most.   Focusing your limited resources on those consumers with the highest propensity to buy what you are selling will deliver the greatest movement towards sales and the highest return on investment for those resources.
  2. In a competitive category, no one brand can do it all.  Focus makes you decide whether to be better, different or cheaper.  Giving the consumer too many messages about your brand will confuse them as to what makes your brand unique.  Trying to be everything is the recipe for being nothing.
  3. Trying to do everything spreads your resources and your message so that everything you do is “ok” and nothing is “great”.  With a long to-do list, you’ll never do a great job at anything.   And in a crowded and fast economy, “ok” never breaks through so you’ll never get the early win to gain that tipping point that opens up the gateway to even bigger success.
Good Strategy starts with Focus

There are Four elements to a good strategy:  1) Focus 2) Early Win 3) Leverage point and 4) Gateway to something bigger.

  • FOCUS all your energy to a particular strategic point or purpose.  Match up your brand assets to pressure points you can break through, maximizing your limited resources—either financial resources or effort.  Focus on one target.   Focus on one message.  And focus on very few strategies and tactics.  Less is more.
  • You want that EARLY WIN, to kick-start of some momentum. Early Wins are about slicing off parts of the business or population where you can build further.  This proves to everyone the brand can win—momentum, energy, following.
  • LEVERAGE everything to gain positional advantage or power that helps exert even greater pressure and gains the tipping point of the business that helps lead to something bigger.  Crowds follow crowds.
  • See beyond the early win, there has to be a GATEWAY point, the entrance or a means of access to something even bigger.   It could be getting to the masses, changing opinions or behaviours.  Return on Investment or Effort.

Sometimes in marketing strategy, we borrow from war.  d-dayAnd if we look at World War II and D-Day, we see a great example of how focus came into play.  While Germany was fighting a war on two fronts (Russia and Britain), the Allied Forces planned D-Day for 2 years and joined in full force to FOCUS all their attention on one beach, on one day. The surprise attack gave the Allies an EARLY WIN, and momentum which they could then LEVERAGE  into a bigger victory by using the victory on that one beach to gain a positional power on continental Europe.  Getting on mainland Europe gave the allied forces the GATEWAY they needed to steamroll through on a town by town basis and defeat the Germans.  The allied forces had been on the defensive for years, but landing on that beach on D-Day gave them one victory and the tipping point to an offensive attack and a pathway to now winning the war.  Imagine if D-Day had used an UNFOCUSED approach.  Instead of focusing on the beaches of Normandy, they could have taken all their troops and spread them every 15 feet from Denmark all the way around Europe to Holland, France, Spain and around to Italy.  The unfocused approach, without a source of power such as that beach in Normandy, would have resulted in the allied soldiers being picked off one-by-one. No focus means no power. If it’s so easy to understand that with a war analogy, how come we can’t do that on our own brands.

Where You Should Focus
  • Pick a focused Target Market:  While it’s tempting to sell to everyone.  Focus your resources on those most likely to buy. Realizing not everyone can like you is the first step to focus on those that can love you.
  • Pick a focused Brand Positioning:  Start with the target market you just picked–and assess their need states to see where you can best match up. Beloved Brands are either better, different or cheaper. Or they are not around for much longer.
  • Pick a Focused Strategy:  how_to_focusBrands need to understand where they sit before picking strategies.  Evaluate the health of your brand using the Brand Funnel to understand where you are strong and should keep pushing or where you have a weakness (a Leak) that you need to close.
  • Need a Focused Objective:  As you take your strategy to those who are going to execute the plan, you need to make sure that everyone is delivering against a very focused objective on their program, so that each program adds up to moving the brand.
  • Focused Activities.  While everyone talks Return on Investment (ROI), I also talk Return on Effort (ROE) as well.  Return on Effort forces you to prioritize all your activities.  Things like social media are not free, if they occupy the time of our limited people resources.
When you focus, five things happen for your brand
  1. Better Return on Investment (ROI):   With all the resources against one strategy, one target, one message, you’ll be find out if the strategy you’ve chose is able to actually move consumers drive sales or other key performance indicators.
  2. Better Return on Effort (ROE):  Whether it’s your own marketing team or all the people resources you utilize through your sales team or agencies.  Having focus allows you to get the most out of your people resources.marketingroi
  3. Strong Reputation:  When you only do one thing, you naturally start to become associated with that one thing—externally and even internally.  And, eventually you become very good at that one thing.  When I’m giving speeches, I love to ask the room to think about the one word connected to brands.  And when I say Volvo, almost in unison, the room shouts out “safety”.
  4. More Competitive:  As your reputation grows, you begin to own that on thing and your are able to better defend the positioning territory
  5. Bigger and Better P&L:  As the focused effort drives results, it opens up the P&L with higher sales and profits.  And that means more resources will be put to the effort to drive even higher growth.  When you show movement on your brand, go back to your finance person and say “look how well that program worked, now we need even more money”.
fork-in-the-roadSo next time you are faced with a decision, make the choice. Don’t pick both just in case you are wrong.  All you are doing is depleting your resources by spreading them across both choices.  And you’ll never see any movement on your brand so you’ll never find out if you were right or wrong.
Focus Starts with Making Choices

 

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Best tourism ads on the planet

Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in Beloved Brands in the Market

Ad_Newfoundland_240x240As we hit the fall, it’s a great time to be thinking about vacations. Here are some of the Best Tourism ads from around the world. Too many Tourism spots use a montage of clips against a cute wholesome song and put on a cheery tag line that says very little and offends very few. Most tourism ads all look the same. The challenge for tourism groups is the number of constituents they must please really inhibits the risk taking that would push for greatness. 

 

Here’s a few of my favourites. Feel free to add others.    

 

Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada

This ad captures the pure beauty of Newfoundland, a province on the east coast of Canada.  Pure desolate and rugged beauty.  This campaign  enticed me to go to Newfoundland and it did not disappoint.  Best photos you’ll ever come back with.  I’d go in the summer though, as it can be rather chilly (even then).

 

India

This campaign does a great job in capturing the diversity that India has to offer.  “Incredible India” 

 

New Zealand

New Zealand borrows the richness of the Lord of the Rings to showcase the diversity of New Zealand.  I was lucky enough to film a TV ad in New Zealand.  

 

Air France

I love when ‘quiet’ is used to capture attention.  Without showing classic montage of clips, this spot offers the beauty of ballet and a style that just screams France.

 

South Africa

Showing a bit of the personality of South Africa mixed in with soccer to showcase the World Cup of Soccer.  

 

Las Vegas

And of course, after Vegas tried for decades to promote the “good” Vegas for family fun, they finally nailed it when they went the other way and said “it’s a bit naughty” with “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”.

 

Tell me an Ad that influenced you to take a vacation.  

 

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How to run a Marketing Team

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Slide1I’ve seen so many marketing leaders over my twenty years in CPG, whether it was my days as a junior marketer observing those I was under or observing my own issues as I was finally taking the reigns of a marketing team.  The biggest problem I still see and hear about is “lack of consistency”.  And yet, I do believe consistency is one of the most important attributes for a good leader of a marketing team.  People always use the word “Leadership” which sometimes implies that the leader should be “leading” the team.  But, you should be encouraging those under you to be the ones leading the way.  You should stop leading, so you can let them lead.  

Whether you are at the Director or VP level, whether your team is 3 or 30 or even more, here are some thought starters to help you better manage your marketing team.  

Be a Consistent Leader with People

This is my #1 rule as the leader. And yet, it’s the easiest to fail on. When you have multiple brands under you, it’s so easy to forget what you said 5 days ago on one of the brands.  I learned quickly to ask the very simple question:  “what did I say last time?  While it might sound weak, it’s a much stronger position for you than when your brand manager says “yeah, but last time you said….”   

People have to know how to act around you. You have to make it comfortable enough for people to approach you, and be able to communicate the good and bad. A scary leader discourages people from sharing the bad results, which ends up leaving you in the dark.  Open dialogue helps you know what’s really going on, so you can run the business.  Let them challenge you and push forward new thinking into the system.   This helps your brands to stay modern, push new ideas and connect with consumers.  

Be consistent with the Work

Be consistent in how you think, how you act in meetings and how you approve.  Inconsistent behaviour by a leader does not “keep them on their toes” which some hope for.  Nor does it create an atmosphere of “creativity”. Inconsistent leadership inhibits creativity, with tension that adds no value to the brands. A good atmosphere on the team will make people want to go the extra mile for you. Be a good listener and you’ll be surprised on what people tell you—how honest they’ll be, how much they’ll tell you.  Knowledge starts with listening. 

You also want to hold your team to a Consistently high standard of work.  Rather than being the leader by example, you should establish a standard and hold everyone and yourself to that standard.  For a new director, this is one of the harder areas–balancing the freedom you give with the standard you demand.  The key is to shift your focus to more of a process orientation.  Organize the team and build in processes in a way that produces consistent output, making sure your team hits all deadlines, stays focused and keeps things moving.  The standard should also show up in the quality of brand plans, the execution and the interactions with everyone specifically sales or your agencies. Be the control point of the team, and not let slips, errors or delays show beyond the team. Delegate so you motivate your stars, but never abdicate ownership that allows your weaker players to slow you down. 

Be a Leader who Makes Decisions

When your team comes to see you, they expect your challenges and should be ready for them.  But they want your approval.  Early in my career, I once worked under a VP Marketing who said in every speech “what you can expect from me is….” and we never saw it.  We kept waiting. And we started to parrot the phrase “what you can expect from me…”  in a joking way.  

There’s nothing worse than the constant deflector.  The leader who challenges and sends you back to the drawing board, not because the Brand Manager hasn’t thought of everything but because the director can’t make a decision.  Find your way, whether it is through sorting through a decision tree with criteria, give yourself a certain amount of time or ask for advice from those you trust.  But you have to eventually make a decision. Those leaders who let research make the decision are just as weak.  I’ve always said that market research is only to get you to the point of “so what do you think?” but it should never make a decision for you.  Otherwise, if research decides, then what do we need you for?  

 Let them Run the Brands.  You run the process.

While your people run the brands and the execution, you should run the P&L and essentially run all the marketing processes.  You have to run the P&L and make investment choices.  Bring an ROI and ROE (Return on Investment and Effort) mind-set to those decisions. Run the process—brand planning, advertising, creative briefs—in a way that’s not restrictive but rather provides the right freedom to your people. Allow your people drive all their creative energy into great work that gets in the marketplace, not trying to figure out what slide looks really cool in the brand plan presentation.  I’ve worked as a Brand Manager in a marketing team without process and it was total chaos, not fun at all.  

Now it’s time, for you to step back and let them do amazing work.  It has to be about them, not you.  At the VP level, I used to walk into every meeting knowing that “I knew less about the issue on the table, than anyone in the room”. As the leader, that’s a great position to be in, because it forces you to ask and listen.  Look for ways to support and encourage great thinking, while challenging them to reach for even better.  Balance giving them to enough freedom to do great stuff and yet knowing when to step in and make a decision.    

It’s about the People, stupid

So as the leader, Focus on the People and the Results will come:  The formula is simple:  the better the people, the better the work and in turn the better the results.  You should have a regular review of the talent with your directors.  Clearing out under-performing team members is crucial to ensuring you have room for your best to move up. I’d encourage you to ensure there’s a systemic way to get feedback to everyone on the team, preferably on a quarterly basis.  Waiting for the annual review is way too late and almost negligent as a leader. Your people have the potential to grow with feedback.   But without feedback, they’ll be confused and even frustrated. 

Make your people Better

Marketing Training is not just on the job, but also in the classroom in a way that challenges their thinking.  You need to focus on the skills to be better in their jobs.  Marketing fundamentals matter.  And in the modern world, we are letting the classic fundamentals go, whether it is strategic thinking, writing a brand plan, writing a creative brief or judging great communication.  People are NOT getting the same training and development they did in prior generations.  Invest in training, because it is motivating for them get better.  It helps drive retention and commitment into producing great work and driving results.

Better people, means better work and better results.

 

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email-Logo copyABOUT BELOVED BRANDS INC.:  At Beloved Brands, we are only focused on making brands better and making brand leaders better.Our motivation is that we love knowing we were part of helping someone to unleash their full potential.  We promise to challenge you to Think Different.  We believe the thinking that got you here, will not get you where you want to go.  grOur President and Chief Marketing Officer, Graham Robertson is a brand leader at heart, who loves everything about brands.  He comes with 20 years of experience at companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer Consumer, General Mills and Coke, where he was always able to find and drive growth.  Graham has won numerous new product and advertising awards. Graham brings his experience to your table, strong on leadership and facilitation at very high levels and training of Brand Leaders around the world.  To reach out directly, email me at graham@beloved-brands.com 

 

At Beloved Brands, we love to see Brand Leaders reach their full potential.  Here are the most popular article “How to” articles.  We can offer specific training programs dedicated to each topic.  Click on any of these most read articles:

Ask Beloved Brands to run a workshop to find your brand positioning or ask how we can help train you to be a better brand leader.