Marketing gurus complicate marketing when it is actually simple.
Years of research, jointly with 4 universities, to discover what works in marketing in this new limited attention, information overload age. What we found is that it is actually easy, gurus just complicate marketing strategies by calling similar tactics by different names.
How do you take a brand that was stagnant for several years and get it growing again or any brand? How do you grow a brand from $250M to $1.4B? You create a P.O.V.
It all about the POV.
Find an influential segment that you can define digitally (Artistic rebels), Find their tension (I want to be accepted for who I am, i feel like the black sheep but there is nothing wrong with me). Use your main tension to create your P (Purpose). It is not enough to create a Purpose from an insight, it must be also linked to your O (Onlyness), a benefit only your brand has. Converse is the most creative sneakers in the world because people customize them all the time. Next is “who is my tribe” and what are the values they stand for. This is created through defining V (values).
NOTE for smaller brands: If you are a brand that is at a disadvantage due to smaller budget, start by defining a segment that is ignored by your competitors. That is really the only change to the strategy. Example; people paint their houses when they move, renovate, buy a new house or have children. No one targets parents having children. A new paint company can develop a line to attract these clients and then grow from there. Insight; “If our children are so special why do we all start them in a pink or blue room?” .
Purpose. Onlyness. Values.
P (Purpose) = Evoke pride in not fitting in to normal.
- Brand purpose creates brand love. People who are creative rebels will love the brand more for defending them that it is ok to be different.
- When you love an individual or a brand, it increases your loyalty which positively affects your market share. Love does not disappear so quickly, so the results also last long beyond your media investment.
O (Originality) = A sneaker you can customize and is very different from other sneakers.
- This technique is what most marketing does today. It places an emotion around a Unique Selling Proposition. Example; if you are looking to buy a 40K to 50K luxury sedan and see a Mercedes ad, you will probably visit a Mercedes dealership. If at the time BMW is what you see most often you will probably visit the BMW dealership first.
- This increases sales if you are the one spending more on media. Once you stop spending the result ends as well since this attracts people that are looking for the product, not so brand related. It is more linked to the product.
V (Values Symbol or Social Values) = Happy, Creative, Fun Rebellion
- Values are typically used to create a social badge. Example; Picture two motocross riders. One is dressed in all Red Bull gear the other is dressed in Monster Energy drink gear. Which one probably has more tattoos? I’ve asked this to a conference of over 1000 people and the majority answer Monster. We automatically associate personality to brand choices, we buy them also for that reason without thinking of it.
- By sponsoring or creating content around a tribe you want to attract, people will be willing to pay more for your product or service because it helps them say something about themselves without having to speak a word. It becomes a symbol of who they are. It is why we buy luxury brands and are willing to pay more. You can make a higher profit per unit sold once you accomplish this.
Each one of these has its own objective but they are all linked to marketing success. Success being increased market share (P), increased sales (O), and increased profit (V). Views, shares, likes, comments, brand recognition, purchase intent, and GRPs do nothing to measure system 1 thinking which is how we make 95% of purchases, so we don’t aim for those.
“No matter how hard we try to weed out remaining shiny metrics, entrenched behaviors are hard to change. We continue to tell you how many ‘clicks’ your video has generated, how many likes or shares your post has, even though we have proven that they bear no correlation to sales, simply because brand managers continue to ask.” — Brad Smallwood, VP of Facebook’s Marketing Science team
This is why we focus on the end objective, financial results.
Once you define the P, the O, and the V, you can use them to create your brand’s mission. A brand mission that is easily understood by all staff members, clients, and potential customers.
Mission: Inspire people to do their own thing, because this is where their true life begins.
With the birth of social media, advertising has become an “Always On” endeavor. Depending on what result you are trying to achieve (higher sales, more market share or higher profit) you need to use a mix of P,O and V messages. Never focus 100% on just one. At the end of the quarter, you benchmark your results vs last quarter.
You ask individuals to circle how they feel about your brand. Contempt, Surprise, Anger, Disgust, Fear, Happiness, Sadness or Neutral. The worst reaction is neutral and unfortunately, that is where most brands find themselves. When you feel nothing, you do nothing.
The strategy we developed helped Dove increase sales from $1B to $4B. Converse went from $250M to $1.2B in 10 years with the same strategy. Coors light went from 7th place in market share to 2nd in the USA.
You might argue, people don’t think of these things when buying your products but I would argue they feel them. If our brain was a computer, our rational process would be 50 mhz while our instinctual process would be 11,000,000 mhz. Theses instincts are what helped us evolve. If I throw a ball to you, you catch it. You don’t think of the speed vs trajectory. You simply catch it. Catching a ball is one of the hardest things to program into a robot because we use our instincts to catch not our rational (system 2).
When you forget your mission
Apple started to give much more attention into communicating camera size and processor speed, which caused sales to drop. it let down people on its promise. Converse had a new CMO take over which focused on innovation, they created sneakers that aren’t customisable due to a higher quality material. The brand for the first time in 13 years dropped.
People hate advertising, but they love brands. They love brands that help them stand out from the crowd, brands that help them stands up for things they believe in and brands that are consistent in the things they say and do. Of course you need a great product but a brand needs to be more than just a product. It needs to do and say the right thing to the right people. The rest of the people will follow once you do that.
Our only mission is to help people love your brand more tomorrow than they do today.
We believe in making brands matter. Helping brands become significant to people. Jointly with our clients, we create work people care about, that does not feel like marketing. When brands impact culture in such a positive way, people will care about them back.
This is what gives us energy, especially on Monday morning.
(It is also what provides us with a 100% success rate for all our clients, giving them double-digit market share growth in the first year of working together.)