Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Keeping It Straight

A few years ago I saw a series of commercials from two different products from a particular brand which conflicted with each other.

The brand's explanation for their products of various levels was that different levels of athleticism needed different levels of their product. In the world of sports (as well as many others) this is not uncommon and is even a welcome thought process from both the consumer and the manufacturer point of view.

The problem with this was that they not only got their message crossed between products but they ran a long campaign of commercials of the two products on television at the same time.

Their lessor product was plugged in earlier campaigns for mid level athletes, however when the campaign I'm referring to came about they were clearly advertising that it was used for the most severe levels of climate and bodily stress that one could endure. At the same time they were trying to say the same thing about their top of the line product designed for the top athletes, however this commercial was much less impressive in representing the needs of the top athletes.

It seemed apparent to me that two seperate groups had a job to design and distribute an advertising campaign about their own level of product, and no one between the two communicated as to how these would look or compare next to each other. A lot of money was spent on these commercials which only caused discredit to the brand.

Did the company still make money from the advertising, probably. But was it as effective as it could have been? Definitely not.

Marketing STARTS with the definition of the product line and continues with product design. It's important to state specific levels of performance, comfort, etc. for each product level from the beginning so that what you design and ultimately market can be kept straight. You never want a lessor product to out perform your higher end product. Marketing as such will only work to discredit your brand. Credibility is all too important, especially in a day where there is so much competition.

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