Tag Archives: tactics - Page 2

Beer Brand Eats Own Young!

I’m not going to pretend that I know the exact thought process behind this, but from what I see here it looks like the beer parents of one brand are eating their own young.

In this case, the parent is XXXX Gold, a grand old staple of the Aussie beer fraternity.  The young is a new brand on the market in XXXX Summer Bright, Lion Nathan’s Cerveza-styled entry to the market.

Lion Nathan launched XXXX Summer Bright nationally earlier this month with a campaign that included outdoor (having been tested in several Australian geographical markets over the past year).

Here’s the Summer Bright campaign…..

Summer Bright 2010 outdoor

And here’s one of at least 5 billboards I saw yesterday on a cross-town trip.

XXXGold 2010 outdoor

The creative executions are vaguely similar but it’s the media choice (outdoor) which is the factor proving my headline most strongly.
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“Won’t bind your legs”

ActionJeans_ChuckNorris
Have you ever had one of those days where you learned absolutely nothing, gained no knowledge at all?  It feels empty and incomplete.

A day without gaining any knowledge at all is a day wasted, no matter what else happens, because knowledge is currency and one day you might need to draw on it.

Whether it’s trivial or mountain-shifting, edifying or entertaining, there’s always something new to be discovered. Learning a single piece of something can also start you on a trail of discovery that can uncover a whole series of thoughts, ideas and insights, which in-itself is always exciting.
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No Elvis impersonators

no elvis impersonators
I have only one creative rule: no Elvis impersonators.

I was presented with a creative idea using Elvis impersonators once.  It wasn’t pretty.

Some Elvis impersonators pay genuine homage to The King, but in general most of them are parasites, profiting from his brand or at best, making fun of a great artist during a period in which he was truly troubled (in fact I view Elvis impersonators in much the same way as politicians in that they probably get into it for the right reasons but eventually lose sight of why, though now I’m really off the track).

Other than that one rule, all ideas are game on as far as I’m concerned because creative daring is essential for breaking free from the clutter to get your story told and heard.
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Challenger v. Defender

You think and act differently when you’re the challenger (or at least you should).

Late comers to a market who desire growth are, by definition, challengers (as distinct from followers).

The category or market leader’s job is to defend their market share from attack, to stand their ground and to use all means they can to tell their stories, which are different to the challenger and usually focused on what made them the leader in the first place.

By contrast, the challenger has to be more nimble.  To take mind and (ultimately) market share from the leader, the challenger needs to craft their stories to attack the core strengths of a defender and tell them in a way that undermines the foundations of the leader and presents a credible alternative.

Communications strategies and tactics that get your stories right into the heart of where your desired audience works, plays and interacts, engaging their senses and emotions will drive your brand forward and start winding out the screws holding the market leader aloft.

Doing the same things as the defender is folly.  It only increases the chance that your stories will get lost amongst theirs, no matter how good, how differentiated or how valuable your offering might be.  It might work to start with but the capacity of the leader to ratchet up their attack is usually greater.  Existing in the shadow of the leader will eventually make you indistinguishable from them.

You’ve probably heard the business riddle: where does a 400-pound gorilla sleep?  Anywhere he wants.

That’s true but a nest of termites can eat the legs out of his bed and make him uncomfortable.

Unexpectations

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If you want to change (or even reset) the way people think about your brand and what you offer, you won’t do it by telling stories that are expected.  Communicating the same idea as always doesn’t change behaviour, invite new actions, craft positive experiences or create deeper engagement.

At all.

You need unexpectations to do that.

I got a late call up to goal-umpire my son’s under 13 AFL match at the weekend.  I’ve never done it before (it’s a high pressure job and I like to keep Saturdays a bit calmer) but, ever the willing helper, I jumped in there with my white flags and did the job.  It didn’t take long for the controversy to follow.

The goal umpire’s job (expectedly) is to call if the ball goes through for a goal or a behind.  When a goal is scored in AFL, the goal umpire is supposed to get quickly to a spot exactly in between the posts, stand very straight, leave a little pause for suspense and then shoot both cuffs with elbows bent, followed by a choreographed waving of both white flags.  This tells the opposing goal umpire that a goal’s been scored and both cards are compared at the end of the game to make sure the scores match.

It’s expected that this will all be done with an impressive level of sequence, poise and steely seriousness.

During this particular under 13′s game, where there’s no salary cap and all the players have day-jobs (i.e. school), I concentrated on getting the main thing right and was less worried about the formalities, which is to say calling the goal, casually shooting the cuffs and waving the flags without necessarily thinking about whether it was the right way (which I didn’t know anyway), just that it was seen.

As a result my actions invited the attention of the officials and evoked a response.  It wasn’t positive but it was a response all the same (elbows bent).  I’d raised their unexpectations.

The goals (and behinds) were still scored and recorded.  The opposing goal umpire’s tally matched mine.  I wasn’t less professional than the other umpire though I certainly had more fun.  It was the expectation that I’d act like all the other goal umpires that attracted the attention and response of the officials (and one or two of the crowd).  I’d cut through by being unexpected.

The next time you’re crafting or telling a story about your brand, wanting to cut through and attract attention, you could probably do a lot worse than bringing an unexpectation or three into the mix.

The most exciting boring you’ll never want to know

Confused?  Don’t be.  This post is about sharing, because I’ve just read the most exciting column so far this year, its central theme was on becoming boring and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Lots of ‘marketers’ these days don’t want to know about this because they want to think of themselves as being at the cutting-edge.  They want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to new and exciting ways to use media and creativity to get their brands up and rocking. Make big noise to get quick cut-through.  Not a lot of longer run thinking going on.

They also often act at the expense of fundamentals and this column is exciting because it talks all about them.  They’re too busy trying to be cool and be seen that they miss why they’re there in the first place.

Naturally, social media and digital are where most of this loss-of-focus occurs though not exclusively.  In this column, the writer (Pete Blackshaw) puts forward the very same argument I’ve been banging on about to clients (and anyone who’ll listen in the marketing and communications game) if they’re to make any kind of difference to their brands and the consumers of them.

Read this great column then go back and make sure these things are covered in your marketing strategy.