Today’s world is full of baffling and trite messages- messages that ask consumers to buy into a brand just because or just because the advertiser thinks its ad is tres cool: spray deodorant that promise an unending string of female conquests; car commercials featuring giant hamsters; print ads so out of touch with anything that you just hope it comes from some other country.
Thankfully, there’s always a cure for such awful, incompetent strategy – and it’s a simple question – what about the consumer?
If a brand manager can’t succinctly answer that question, or has to think of a long, winding, round about answer, then it’s obvious that the message is either too high or low concept. It’s not talking to consumers, it’s talking at them, throwing up static and or shouting in the dark hoping someone sees or hears something they like in the fuzz and gloom. It’s not welcoming the consumer into a mental dialogue with the brand, only the wrapper of message:
Like this ad…and if you get a chance, maybe, possibly, think about this brand (but like the ad more).
That simple question, that little sentence that starts with how, cuts through the static, and leads to other questions, such as Why are we doing it this way? and How does our brand address the promise made by our message?…in a sense, and all wrapped up into one, it’s simply Is this message authentic?
In a world of inauthentic messages, static in the air and shouts in the dark, engaging the consumer in an authentic dialogue is key. Whether you’re selling a shampoo, a car, a sandwich, or your own services, an authentic message will cut through all the others. This idea of authenticity, of honesty in strategy, is the main focus of this site, because it’s the main focus of my overall mindset. So, everything I write here will be with an eye toward authenticity, looking out for strategies that either have it in spades or try to get by without it, and building up an idea about them from there.
So, with that, I can promise I’ll always strive for authenticity in my own work, and, if I can swing it, humor and wit at the same time.