Archive for December, 2008

Name your company…a price?

Monday, December 22, 2008

mmind_ds

Naming a product or even your company can be a daunting task. What I am astonished by is when price becomes the name. When you name your company with a price, you eliminate your ability to add future value to your customer and worse yet, the ability to raise prices.

Inevitably you will have to increase your price to stay profitable. After months or even years of establishing your brand–which is based on a price–among your loyal customers, a change in the price of your product will cause confusion.

Take, for example this message that came across our paging system the other day. “5 Buck Pizza is here. Come to the front desk and pay seven dollars to get your 5 Buck Pizza.” We all had a chuckle at how that sounded. But from a marketers perspective, what a challenge that now poses.

5 Buck Pizza is small regional pizza chain in the Intermountain West. But larger companies are not immune to taking this strategy. Take Arby’s 5 for $5 that had been promoted which is now transformed into 5 for $5.95. While it is a different promotion/product offering altogether, the message to the consumer of 5 for some dollar amount has now changed. I suspect it will change in the future.

There are other guidelines you should follow when naming your company or product. And avoiding price is one of those key guidelines. For a review of other guidelines and discussions, these links may be helpful.

Strategic Name development

The New Rules of Naming

Igor Naming Guide

Online Brand Names

How to cut through the 3,000 ad messages per day

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

In one word…Simplify.

The number of advertising messages consumers are subjected to seems to vary depending upon the source. It can be anywhere from 300 to 3,000 messages per day. These include your traditional radio, TV, billboard and direct mail messages to the quickly glanced and forgotten newspaper ads, online banner ads,  logos on buildings and products and many other creative avenues too numerous to mention.

So how do you cut through all of the clutter? Speak to the right consumer at the right time with a simplified message.

Most, if not everyone, knows that TV is switching to all digital this coming February 2009. I recently went out and bought two digital converter boxes for my analog TVs. However, I soon discovered that my old rabbit-ear antennae was not strong enough to pick up the digital signals. Off to the store I went in search of a powered digital antennae.

Here is where the simplicity sold me on a particular model. The packaging explained in simple terms what this model would do in comparison to my old style of antennae and other similar looking digital antennas. It was not the most expensive, nor the least expensive product on the shelf. In that instance, I was sold.

Simplify your message at the point of the consumers decision.

I have always adhered to the following quote when creating product messaging:

So tell me quick and tell me true
(Or else, my love, to hell with you!)
Less – “How this product came to be”;
More – “what the damn thing does for me!”

The quote above is part of a larger poem in the book, “How To Write A Good Advertisement“, by Victor O. Schwab.

Now, simplicity does not necessarily mean brief or short. That is a whole other topic on short vs. long copy. My point is that the message needs to be simplified for the consumer to understand and it should be about them and not about you (the advertiser).

In the digital antennae example, the benefit of the product was clear and simple about how this product would solve my problem. The benefit to me was clearly defined – in a simple way. The other products on the shelf may have been better, but they did not get my sale.