Standout marketing is tough to pull off with any product, but commodity goods like soap, toothpaste and electric power have the hardest job of all.
Graeme Newell from 602 Communications digs into some of the best advertising campaigns from that most generic of sectors – the bottled water industry. Despite the fact that water is the ultimate commodity product, these Madison Avenue masters have taken positioning a brand to a whole new level. Gone are worries about tying the brand back into priority features. This is an advertising task that begins with the ultimate blank slate: a pure, featureless, and ultimately uninteresting product.
Marketing generic products like bottled water forces marketers to firmly ground their advertising in the place where all marketing should begin – the customer’s experience of herself. When clients are ready to advertise, they will come to an agency typically having fallen in love with their own product. They don’t typically ask themselves, “what is customer focus?” They believe that their product’s feature set is divinely inspired to move customers and that their product is the obvious choice.
The best television ads will take that dazzling product and temporarily set it aside. When positioning a brand, they will bring the customer’s own sense of identity to the top marketing chain, then decide how that product furthers her own personal goals. Many marketers asked themselves, “what job is the customer hiring this product to do?” This clearly puts the marketing on a solid base of customer experience and forces both the agency and the client to put aside their own love of the product they worked so hard to create.
The truth is that most customers treat the products they use as everyday commodities. From soap, to detergent, to beer, to coffee, we just don’t think that much about purchases that we make. Most of our product preferences are grounded in gut instinct, not an objective comparison of features. We just like the product, and we don’t think that much about why. The best advertising campaigns never forget this and always market from a customer-centric vantage point.
This is the transcendent mindset that great marketers of generic products understand. Because their wares are the quintessential definition of an uninteresting product, the pretense of an exemplary feature set is gone.
In this presentation, “Positioning a Brand: Best Ways to Market Uninteresting Products,” keynote speaker and emotional marketing expert Graeme Newell shows you how the best marketers plain and simply get over themselves and embed a dazzling persona on to a product that should have no differentiating factors at all. Check out some of the best television ads around in this presentation that answers the question “what is customer relationship marketing?”
Transcription of Text From The Video: “Positioning a Brand: Best Ways to Market Uninteresting Products.”
One of the biggest problems with advertising? Everyone thinks they’re one-of-a-kind, even though most products really aren’t that much different. Now a few products really ARE revolution, like Dyson vacuums. That roller ball proves it’s different! Or the greatest couch potato invention in history!
Now there are some industries where new features are rolled out constantly, like the mobile phone business. The advertising must continually explain new calling plans and new features. Product feature marketing works great when the features are continually improving, but this is the exception, not the rule. The trick is to avoid one of marketing’s biggest mistakes – crowing about a small product improvement that no one’s gonna care about.
So what do you do when you can’t market the bells and whistles any more? Well look no further than that ultimately generic product – bottled water. They’ve created a brand out of absolutely nothing. Dasani is the rebellious, thrilling water for those who don’t follow the rules, and are always looking for a walk on the wild side. Perrier is the risk taker’s water. Danger is what they want from a bottle of water. Evian is the young water…This is water we’re talking about here – totally generic – but these companies have built an entire persona, out of nothing. This is marketing built entirely on how the customer wants to see herself, not how she feels about water.
So remember, take a hard, honest look at your product. Is it truly unique? If so, embrace that, and put your features out on display, but if not, then you should build your marketing from the customer’s ego up, not from the product features down. I’m Graeme Newell, and that’s Emotional Marketing.