The majority of today’s advertising is still based on push marketing tactics, especially price discounting to incent consumers to buy. Push marketing sometimes works to move products off the shelf in the short term, but push marketing is not a brand building strategy. Product ads and messages not tied to a cohesive brand story are simply doing product positioning, but not brand positioning, and since products come and go, over the long term it’s the brand story, its values and ideal experiences that compose the big ideas for positioning your company.
Thus, it cheapens a brand by putting out the message of inventory overstock or sales desperation, thereby reducing the product to the status of a mere commodity wherein price is the meaningful differentiator. This may be motivating to some consumers, but it’s a terrible strategy for meaningful brand differentiation.
Conversely, pull marketing is the strategy that creates a halo around your brand by enhancing your brand’s identity value. This works particularly well in high-interest, high involvement categories such as in the culture industries, all forms of personal technology, entertainment, clothing, beauty, fashion, auto, food, sports and fitness, beverage, dining, hospitality/tourism, health and wellness, and education.
The Desire For Magic Moments
People engaged in these high-interest categories want to experience magic moments as they make their way through life. The brand bridge challenge is to find ways to express and deliver on the emotions and identity facets that this audience wants to feel. But most of these emotional needs are latent and tacit, unspoken and largely unknown, until and unless they are thoughtfully researched and artfully uncovered.
When you do discover them, you can show people how to live life more fully, which leaves people with a very different feeling than advertising intended to manipulate behavior by making them feel fearful or insecure. While playing upon insecurities has become a common strategy in advertising for a long time, which of these approaches do you see as a better long-term brand building strategy, appealing to insecurities, or invoking magic moments? Which approach is better at getting people’s short-term attention?
These core ideas and others can be found in my latest book The Brand Bridge – How to Build a Profound Connection Between Your Company, Your Brand, and Your Customers.
At The Blake Project we are helping clients from around the world, in all stages of development, redefine and articulate what makes them competitive at critical moments of change through online strategy workshops. Please email us for more about our brand storytelling and brand positioning workshops.
Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Growth and Brand Education