Rubber chickens selling gold, cardboard cutout car dealers, cross-dressing grandmothers telling us to lose weight. In their efforts to stand out, these campaigns succeed. But in building brand strength and igniting long-term success they fail miserably. These “let’s be different” campaigns are all in with the simplified strategy that the ultimate goal is to get attention, period. Here’s the truth about growing brand strength, it’s a very long process. Building trust takes time. It requires meeting the expectations of your brand promise consistently and constantly. Yes, it’s critical that your communication efforts stand out, breakthrough the massive clutter. But where these companies above fall short is what they are getting attention for doesn’t bridge to a differentiating selling point unique to the company and meaningful to the customer. No brand equity is being built and a true dominant selling idea is not being embraced. Doing this requires more effort, greater focus and long-term commitment to your brand essence. I can quickly recall that a local gold and silver exchange company uses a rubber chicken to promote itself, I can even recite lines from the TV commercial, but I have no idea why I should use this company over the 50 other options in our market. All that media purchased (we are talking significant $) to constantly reach me, the use of a unique concept to stand out and this company still has not planted a differentiating selling point in my mind – I can’t recall what makes them a better option for me.
Paying the media to entertain consumers is a good introduction. But after the laughter, you have to make people believe you’re the best option for their needs. Without that, you’re just spending money to be considered a rubber chicken.