Monday, August 14, 2017

A Strange Way to Market

Lately I have been watching a strange marketing campaign.  It strikes me as one that violates all of the rules of successful marketing strategy.  It isn't working, but its promoter is only doubling down and making a more frantic effort along the same lines.

The marketeer chose as the strategy a variation of the old "Brand X" model where a brand seeks an advantage over a competitor by pointing at defects in the competitive product.  Over time Brand X campaigns have gotten shallower and even nastier.  (An example: an ISP even practically grunts, Tarzan-style, "Us good. Them bad".)

Our example advertiser doesn't spend any time or energy promoting their own product.  Everything is directed at assailing the competitor, describing it and the competitor in the vilest way, advancing extremely dubious claims that often don't hold water, and hinting rather conspicuously that the product could only be desirable to subhumans.  What is worse is that the marketeer in question actually attacks consumers of the alternative product as idiots---and much worse.

Step back and think about this.  You want to command the market and sell your product.  To do that you need more consumers.  To do that you need to convince those prospects to buy yours.  And yet you....insult--and attack--those prospects.  What a strange, foolish way to do business.  It is no wonder that the advertiser is failing miserably with declining sales over time.  Yet that advertiser persists and is doubling down with stronger, nastier insults.

Bottom Line:  Are you selling with a Brand X or derivative strategy?  Are you finding yourself, even unintentionally, attacking prospects who go elsewhere?  Always return to basic principles of informing and courting prospects and where competitors exist only pointing out your own competitive advantages rather than any self-perceived deficiencies.

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