NEED A BREAK?

Celebrate your originality +  rethink your flaws...

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If your motto is to Strive for Perfection you’ve probably had years of disappointment. The good news is while you are fighting for the impossible you might be happy to know the imperfect is perfect for your advertising campaign. Yes, we love to see the beautiful, super rich, out-of-reach people and places on TV and in ads but think about the most successful celebrities or products…

The most popular stand out because of their unique, 'imperfect part'…no matter how perfect the imperfection. The most famous models and actors have a unique face versus a perfect face and the most famous movies celebrate individuality and eccentricities. From oversized backsides to elvin features, scars to odd voices, we love the imperfections, the quirks, the je ne sais quoi that draws us to a person or image.

 

The Japanese have made an art form out of celebrating imperfections. The art of Kintsukuroi or Kintusgi mends the broken with gold. Pottery that has cracked with years of use is repaired with lacquer and gold or silver powder. Instead of hiding or masking the cracks, the object is made more beautiful as the imperfections, along with the object’s history, are celebrated.

We might Photoshop out age and expression but we still strive for originality. The most popular might set a trend that many follow but ironically it is the uniqueness of expression that started the trend. In advertising companies need to discover what makes their company unique and differentiate themselves in the minds of consumers by highlighting those differences or showcasing themselves in a unique way. 

The concept of originality has endured in every area of human life. From high school cafeterias to boardrooms, valedictorian speeches to Ted talks…people strive for originality over perfection. Of course, being original usually needs to still have depth or value (although quite a bit of popular culture and art could dispute that point.)  If you step back from your product and see its flaws look again with new eyes. There might be a unique quality or personality you should be showcasing rather than hiding…

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner

Are You Scaring Your Customers?

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Deadly Display of Attention

Everyone has a different design aesthetic, taste is relative, and clever marketing isn't always the most attractive but usually businesses want to attract not repel customers with their advertising message. Many businesses use obnoxious or over-the-top messaging to grab attention but every business owner has to be careful to match a message with the visuals.

One of my staff went shopping in Montreal and passed by a good example of how mixed messages can deter rather than attract shoppers. If you have a brick and mortar business your front door and display window is a huge part of your advertising and the message you send with your store design is obviously important.

You have to wonder what the store owner of this bridal boutique was thinking when he or she arranged these mannequins to look like a roving band of goth zombies.  The undead and soon to be unbetrothed. Brides generally aren’t going for creepy, moody looks that hide their faces and detract from their ideally gorgeous gowns and expensive hair and makeup.

Next door to the bridezillas is an equally disturbing display of creepy children in clothes you won't remember because their odd, possessed expressions and gestures distract you in the worst way. The message that kids can look sophisticated and cute in their new clothes is lost. Never mind that your own child will probably run away after seeing the display. 

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If you have an eccentric store for magick or magic, costumes or comics, and want to surprise and shock with a creepy, bizarre, or provocative display then the crazier the better…but most of us want to surprise in a way that is inviting to customers.

FAO Schwartz was known for decades for their eye-catching holiday storefronts that created such a buzz even kids couldn't wait to go shopping and Radiant Plumbing has a great changing display that makes looking at toilets a blast as well as ensuring you remember them. Know your customers and don’t forget to advertise accordingly so your store says who you are in a good way. Is your visual message killing your business? Are you saying the right thing the wrong way?

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner

Think Like An Amazon

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Leave a Good Last Impression

It goes without saying that you need to please your customers and make them feel good in every interaction with your business. Unfortunately with more and more competition you need to keep upping your game.

Although Amazon is a corporate beast it thinks ahead to consider the future market because it knows  even their company might be shelved for a newer model. Amazon’s venture in forward thinking shopping includes their venture into the digital shopping cart app. Their new store concept Amazon Go is, in theory, an excellent one. The customer will not only have a fast, efficient, and easy shopping experience but he or she can browse and enjoy the experience knowing the checkout will be painless.

Although the efficiency of the digital cart makes checking out faster it also improves the actual shopping time because the customer now doesn’t have to stress over long lines especially in large stores like their newly acquired Whole Foods Market where checkout in large cities can take 30 minutes or more.

Amazon knows that once you expand your business the fun part of shopping and personalized customer service experience is replaced with a stressed-out race to the shortest line feeling.  If you know your business will be too large to keep that boutique personal feel, you need to create a customer experience that will keep great service or not require it at all e.g. the digital cart.

Amazon’s store might ditch customer service but it answers shoppers’ biggest need—quick checkout. In reality most shoppers, especially in big cities, don’t need or want any more human contact after a long day of work and commuting in throngs of people. They just want to buy their dinner or new laptop in peace…fast.

Think about what your customers really want in their experience. Do you want someone asking if you need help when you buy jeans or groceries? No. Do you want immediate customer service when you shop for electronics or home appliances. Sure. Do you want a fast and easy checkout experience. Always. The last impression is really what your customer remembers. Make it a good one.

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner

NOTICE ME!

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Don't snicker at eye catching labels...

If you've had a successful product for years and everyone knows its name you might need to plan for marketing before you start to blend in. Even after a successful campaign or shelf life, ads still need to catch your eye in the middle of a crowded street or store.

New and funny or moving messages need to be incorporated into every aspect of your business so they always stand out.

If you see a red cross stamped on a folder, a bald muscular guy cleaning tile, or a gecko dancing across a billboard, you immediately recognize the companies. If you see a Toucan lurking around in the cereal aisle you’ll remember Fruit Loops and if you see yellow arches down the street you know what’s there.

Snickers doesn’t have a mascot or ubiquitous storefront symbol and it always relied on its plain brown wrapper and large label name. It worked for years, decades, and it was always easy to spot a Snickers candy bar in the small displays. Years later the internet and mass advertising in stores and streets has shrouded the world in 24/7 moving color and image. Add a saturated candy market with a zillion options and longer aisles and Snickers had to rethink their labels.

It’s a rule of marketing to engage your audience and feed their needs. Whet the ego’s appetite and you can win an audience that wants to engage, feel part of the game, the joke, the experience. Snickers started a line of new labels that at first were different names so just like choosing yourself on a keychain you could choose yourself in a candy bar. Then they added to the fun and made choosing a cheap candy bar a sharing experience so you could buy your friend a bar that said either your state of mind or his.

The labels match their ad campaign that insists you will feel better after eating a Snickers bar. The before and after TV ads are funny and eye catching and the product labels, while simpler, are just as effective. Grumpy? Whiny? Confused? Eat this and you won’t be. Chew on that the next time you think about marketing messages…What does your message do?

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner