Tell me something about your long-term relationships. Describe the interactions you have with your friends. Do they mirror the efforts of your advertising?
Advertising is courtship. Yet it is not treated that way. It’s treated as a sales pitch, an insult to intelligence, an entertainment venue and a stage on which to tell jokes. So as you get ready to launch your next brilliant advertising campaign, don’t. Instead, launch a brand campaign.
Ad campaigns are temporary, brand campaigns invite customer relationships. Here’s why.
Traditional advertising is selling, convincing, interrupting, and urgency. There is no long-term value to this activity. So the instant you cease an advertising campaign, the return on your investment in that campaign stops. There is no greater evidence of this than beer advertising. Take for example Miller Lite’s current Beer Heaven campaign. Miller Lite’s previous investment in “Man Laws” and “The More Taste League” campaigns are no longer paying dividends.
Branding is education, conversations, relationship, and long-term. Brand campaigns have legs that run for the duration of the race.
Brand Campaigns Give Insight
Ad campaigns are built on superficial promises: “save money”, “look good”, “save money”, “we’re the best,” and “save money.”
Brand campaigns are built on an understanding that the relationship will be mutually beneficial and most importantly, that it will be a relationship. Relationships require insight between the involved parties. However, businesses rarely provide insight fearing their shiny exterior will be tarnished by a peek inside.
Get real. How many relationships do you have with fake people? You know, the kind of people who pretend to be something they are not. Customers quickly tire of businesses pretending to be something they are not. Be genunine and execute a brand campaign that describes what you really are.
Three Keys to Brand Campaigns
I. Go Deep – Don’t be superficial. Let customers know that you are real. Let them know something personal about the personality, and people, of your company.
II. Integrate – Coordinate your advertising efforts with all your marketing efforts. Your advertising should not operate independently. Your customer experience, word-of-mouth, employee relations, and advertising should all reflect the same message.
III. Focus – Stick to your brand promise. Publicly, your business should be about one big thing. Don’t stray into less important topics. Always keep your brand campaigns focused on the most important aspect of your offering.
People don’t engage in long-term relationships without familiarity. Customers are the same. They are not going to have a long-term relationship with a business that is simply pitching them all the time.
So change the way you think about advertising. It’s not an event, it’s an integrated part of your brand campaign.