a|lizard|drinking marketing + communication
Tempt-Tin Food



Sorry, but customers don't love your product as much as you do. It takes a lot of effort to prove that you're worthy of their attention.


You earn their attention by speaking to them as intelligent individuals, not as a demographic cluster. Show them that you understand their daily hopes, fears and dreams better than your competitors do.


You don't get their attention by telling them how incredibly great you are.


Customers know the truth when they see it. A modest but realistic claim leaps out from your competitors' empty superlatives.


Your personal likes and dislikes aren't universal. Ditto those of your receptionist and brother-in-law. You'll need to talk to some prospective customers.


People ignore advertising-speak like leading, unrivalled, cutting-edge, total solutions or whatever. If you want to be seen as the best, do something that proves it. If you actually say you're the 'best', 'stylish', 'cool' or 'trustworthy' you come across as the exact opposite.


A brand is exactly the same as a personality. If they like and trust you, they'll buy from you.


Once you decide on your brand's personality, stick to it for the long term. Every great brand is built on consistency.


You can't appeal to everyone. Often, if people outside your target market find your message mystifying or annoying, it will increase its appeal to the people you actually want.


Just like personal selling, you won't sell much unless you give first. Give your customers useful information, or just make them smile, and they'll repay you in sales.


Customers understand that "to serve you better" means "our new cost-cutting program will actually serve you worse", and that "enhancing shareholder value" means "screwing our staff and customers yet again".


Most of your own industry acts as a yardstick for exactly what not to do. There's a strong herd mentality, which is not the point of marketing. Marketing with an eye to what your industry thinks will shift your thinking 180° away from your customers.


Often the best ad is the one where the initial reaction around the table is "You can't say that!".


If nobody publishes your press release, it may be because it isn't news. So don't leave it on your web site for two years.


Don't give anybody with an MBA sole say on whether a piece of communication will work. MBA-thinking is very process-oriented. Processed anything tastes very bland, though its size and shape can be measured accurately.


People will read long copy if there's a story in it. People have liked stories since we sat around cave fires. Old habits die hard.


Business people buy just as emotionally as consumers. They're just better at disguising their motivations, to cover the blame trail.


A logo by itself says very little. A large logo at a sporting event delivers a clear message: that your boss is happy to burn money so they can meet sports stars and get pissed in the corporate box.


Your brand image draws from every point of contact with your customers. The best ads and design in the world can be undone in seconds by your automated phone system or your sales rep's cigarette breath.


A touch of humour will get you everywhere, because it shows customers that you have a sense of perspective. Your brand is like the kind of person they'd like to talk to at a barbecue or party. And when all else is equal, that's enough to make them buy it.


You can ignore all of this and market successfully. It will just cost you ten times as much money to get people to listen to you.


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© a lizard drinking 2005