My favorite marketing law is the law of perception.
The law states “marketing is not a battle of products, it’s a battle of perceptions” These 12 words run through my mind all day from when I wake up to when I sleep (and probably in my dreams). One of the great laws in marketing who we owe thanks to Mr. Ries & Mr. Trout.
Every brand’s ultimate dream is to have a position in a consumers mind that (for the most part) never changes. That perception in their mind becomes the consumer’s reality. It does not matter if another product in the marketplace is better. Once that perception (reality) is created it is very hard to change.
Our job as marketers is to create that reality… I didn’t say it was easy!
Campbell’s is the #1 selling soup in the USA. Heinz is the #1 selling ketchup in the USA. Heinz makes a variety of products and one of them is soup. Heinz soup flopped in the USA. Why? They make ketchup. Who wants soup from a company that shouts the word “ketchup” in your mind when you think Heinz. But Heinz is a leader in the growing soup category in Europe and is tops in the U.K. Over there the reality is different from ours.
Does Campbell’s make better soup than Heinz? Who knows. What does your perception tell you?
A great concept that is being overlooked in marketing these days is a concept called “Positioning.” Positioning is the first thought that comes to mind when you think of a certain product/entity and owns that #1 position. Advertising dollars can all go to waste if they are not built on positioning. Many have!
As marketers we have to get into the consumer’s mind, stay there and build our equity. Not easy to do! But without it we are not going to survive. (or at least stay on top for long). What’s that word (or thought) that comes to mind when consumers think of your product?
Some examples of great product positions:
Volvo – Safety
Starbucks – Premium Coffee
Wal-Mart – Low Prices
Red Bull – Energy Drink
BMW – Ultimate Driving Machine
Amazon – Books
Grey Goose – Premium Vodka
Are you comfortable with your position? What is it?
Everyone knows Santa Claus as jolly old, St. Nick. Every Christmas, he is celebrated all throughout the world. Many movies have starred Santa Claus, from Miracle at 34st to Tim Allen’s Santa Clause movies. But how did Santa Claus become the phenomenon that he is today? I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but it’s with MARKETING!
The American image of Santa Claus was first created by illustrator Thomas Nast, who depicted a stout Santa for Christmas issues of Harper’s magazine from the 1860s to the 1880s. It was still not part of American culture until the world’s biggest brand came along and decided to market Santa. Starting in 1931, magazine ads for Coca-Cola — that’s right Coca-Cola (the world’s most recognized brand) featured St. Nick as a kind, jolly man in a red suit. D’Arcy Advertising Agency worked with The Coca-Cola Company on a campaign to show the wholesome Santa as both realistic and symbolic. Illustrator Haddon Sundblom painted a plump old man with a white beard, wearing a red and white outfit.
The Coca-Cola Santa made its debut in 1931 in The Saturday Evening Post and appeared regularly in that magazine, as well as Ladies Home Journal, National Geographic, The New Yorker and others. Coca-Colaadvertising showed Santa delivering and playing with toys, pausing to read a letter and enjoy a Coke, playing with children who stayed up to greet him and raiding the refrigerators at a number of homes.
Because magazines were so widely viewed, and because this image of Santa appeared for more than three decades, the image of Santa most people have today is largely based on Coca-Cola’sadvertising. The red and white Coca-Cola colors worked seamlessly into the Santa campaign.
In short, to answer everyone’s question “Yes, I believe in Santa Claus.”
(for more information please visit the Coca-Cola website)