Marketing Benefits… versus the Features

When a customer is interested in buying a product or service, it isn’t the feature that they are buying… it’s what that feature does for them. Benefits exemplify the phrase “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?” Benefts have emotion. Features are cold, hard facts.

If your sales materials lists a series of bullet points with descriptions of your product and services, but skips the emotional connection of why the customer should care, you may be missing a sales opportunity.

Building Brands: Professional Service Firms: Write a Book… Then Promote it!

In this week’s issue of BusinessWeek, Karen Klein reports that writing a book isn’t enough, you’ve got to promote it as well. She interviews Mike Schultz about it research with professional service firms who have written books. It makes a good case for writing a book about your business and then promoting it.

Business By the Book: Can writing a book boost your outfit’s bottom line? According to marketer Mike Schultz, the answer is a yes — and in a host of direct and indirect ways.

I guess that this is Mike’s book to help promote his firm. He must be pretty good if he promoted his book in Businessweek! Are you writing a book about your firm? Do you have a promotion plan in place?

Branding Logo Shaved into a Head?

I think brands and logos started with cattle… you know, the mark on the rear of a steer. A visual mark that indicates the quality of the product. This is a photo of Detroit Piston’s guard with his hair in the shape of Goodyear’s Assurance Triple Tread tire.

An interesting visual really does attract attention, doesn’t it?

UPDATE 12/17/09: Sure beats getting a tattoo!! Check out Red Fish Promotions of a lifetime here!

Branding Marketing

Marketing and Advertising on TV with 30 Second Commercials… facing extinction?

AdAge recently surveyed marketers about their television advertising budgets. Most of the group is losing confidence in traditional television advertising:

More than three out of four advertisers — 78% to be exact — said they have less confidence today in the effectiveness of TV advertising than they did two years ago, according to a survey released at today’s (March 22nd) Association of National Advertisers TV Ad Forum.

… Instead, they are looking at alternatives such as branded entertainment within TV programs (61%), TV program sponsorships (55%), interactive advertising during TV programs (48%), online video ads (45%) and product placement (44%). dditionally, 80% will spend more of their advertising budgets on Web advertising and 68% are looking into search engine marketing.

I thought it was because of the TiVo, and digital fast forwarding… but only 17% of the advertisers said they were concerned with DVR ad skipping, it was the commercial clutter (48%) that they said was causing the problem.

I’ve been hearing this type of report for years. In the 80’s when I was at Hasbro working on media plans, we would have a budget for the 3 networks and then a cable budget. Cable was more attractive because they didn’t limit the imagination when presenting a concept: Preppy kids, one toy per kid, no special effects and the reveal: “includes all you see here.” I don’t think anyone would have imagined the potential for special effects, let alone the proliferation of channels.

Remember the kids running along on top of the G.I.Joe aircraft carrier? The Transformers swooping down and — bing-bing-bing — transforming from a dinosaur to a city to a robot? Whenever a medium gets cluttered and the content becomes boring, it’s amazing how new mediums and creative content arise!

Look out Google video. Clutter in the 30 second TV commercial forces marketers to entertain and educate, not just advertise their message. When a consumer downloads your video (insert “ad”) because they want to see it, that is powerful! Send me your links to your favorite marketing video. I am enjoying this emerging medium.

Next time AdAge does a survey, I’d like them to measure how much more effective the ads are when the consumer wants to see them, instead of when the marketer wants to run them. Isn’t that the essence of good communication?

Branding & Marketing: Top Brands

Branding & Marketing: Ever wonder what are the Top Brands in the World? Businessweek in August 2005 lists the top 100 Brands.

The following table ranks 100 global brands that have a value greater than $1 billion. The brands were selected according to two criteria. They had to be global in nature, deriving 20% or more of sales from outside their home country. There also had to be publicly available marketing and financial data on which to base the valuation.

Here they are in rank order, by brand with country:
1 Coca-Cola U.S.
2 Microsoft U.S.
3 IBM U.S.
4 GE U.S.
5 Intel U.S.
6 Nokia Finland
7 Disney U.S.
8 McDonald’s U.S.
9 Toyota Japan
10 Marlboro U.S.
11 Mercedes-Benz Germany
12 Citi U.S.
13 Hewlett-Packard U.S.
14 American Express U.S.
15 Gillette U.S.
16 BMW Germany
17 Cisco U.S.
18 Louis Vuitton France
19 Honda Japan
20 Samsung S. Korea
21 Dell U.S.
22 Ford U.S.
23 Pepsi U.S.
24 Nescafé Switzerland
25 Merrill Lynch U.S.
26 Budweiser U.S.
27 Oracle U.S.
28 Sony Japan
29 HSBC Britain
30 Nike U.S.
31 Pfizer U.S.
32 UPS U.S.
33 Morgan Stanley U.S.
34 JPMorgan U.S.
35 Canon Japan
36 SAP Germany
37 Goldman Sachs U.S.
38 Google U.S.
39 Kellogg’s U.S.
40 Gap U.S.
41 Apple U.S.
42 Ikea Sweden
43 Novartis Switzerland
44 UBS Switzerland
45 Siemens Germany
46 Harley-Davidson U.S.
47 Heinz U.S.
48 MTV U.S.
49 Gucci Italy
50 Nintendo Japan
51 Accenture U.S.
52 L’Oreal France
53 Philips Netherlands
54 Xerox U.S.
55 eBay U.S.
56 Volkswagen Germany
57 Wrigley’s U.S.
58 Yahoo! U.S.
59 Avon U.S.
60 Colgate U.S.
61 KFC U.S.
62 Kodak U.S.
63 Pizza Hut U.S.
64 Kleenex U.S.
65 Chanel France
66 Nestlé Switzerland
67 Danone France
68 U.S.
69 Kraft U.S.
70 Caterpillar U.S.
71 adidas Germany
72 Rolex Switzerland
73 Motorola U.S.
74 Reuters Britain
75 BP Britain
76 Porsche Germany
77 Zara Spain
78 Panasonic Japan
79 Audi Germany
80 Duracell U.S.
81 Tiffany & Co. U.S.
82 Hermes France
83 Hertz U.S.
84 Hyundai S. Korea
85 Nissan Japan
86 Hennessy France
87 ING Netherlands
88 Smirnoff Britain
89 Cartier France
90 Shell Brit./Neth.
91 Johnson & Johnson U.S.
92 Moët & Chandon France
93 Prada Italy
94 Bulgari Italy
95 Armani Italy
96 Levi’s U.S.
97 LG S. Korea
98 Nivea Germany
99 Starbucks U.S.
100 Heineken Netherlands

Branding Marketing