Thursday, December 16, 2010

Do Your Customers Know Why You Exist?

My Sunday ritual is very similar to the rituals of many Americans. I always block out a few hours of the day to watch football and cheer on my favorite team. After a long week, we football fans cherish the opportunity to relax and be entertained by the game we love.

But it seems the game isn't the only thing trying to entertain us. The advertisers, who are obviously desperate to prevent viewers from picking up their remote controls, are on the same mission: captivate us at all costs. In fact, if I didn't know better, I'd guess that the purpose of advertising was to entertain and be a sideshow to our weekly sideshow. Naturally, this leads one to start asking some the serious questions. For instance, can an ad that buries its most compelling selling point under 26 seconds of fluff and punch lines really be effective?

But the questions don't end at the tactical level. At its very core, what reason does your brand have to exist? And more importantly, do consumers know the answer to that question? If not, can they find it in your marketing?

I consciously realized on Sunday that a lot of major marketers cannot answer with a definitive yes. They seem to have enough trouble just getting noticed. If these marketers struggle with declaring a purpose for being here, perhaps they should start by focusing on what consumers will miss most when they're gone.


This post also appeared on Talent Zoo's Beneath The Brand.

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