Let’s get down to it. We’re a Marketing agency, which means that our job is to think creatively for our clients. Some would argue that our job is to only accomplish the tasks set before us by our client -ie client X wants to throw a launch party and we need to produce it.
Yesterday we were having a debate about two major shoe brands… Although the conversation twisted and turned as they always do, here is what I took from it.
Is “Traditional” traditional because it works, or because it has worked so far? For example, let’s say Pro X wants to start Brand Y (this happens a lot). So maybe he approaches his current sponsor and asks if they’ll help him. They say yes, do the back end work (price/product/placement) and put together a little marketing and promotions budget for Brand Y. What usually follows are a team, a tour and ads, maybe some POP and a trade show budget. That’s it. Stop me if I’m wrong here, but this seems to be the strategy for the majority of brands out there. Which isn’t a strategy at all.
Granted the above example is a bit oversimplified, but I get approached all the time from established to start-up brands and they usually want to go down the same road. I understand that we are in the Action Sports industry. I understand the importance of a team, a tour, ads, etc… However, I also understand that real differentiation is made through implementation. So if you’re going to plan a tour, how is it different from the last 1,000+ tours over the last 20 years? A good question posed was, does it need to be different? Which is the if it ain’t broke don’t fix it mentality. Chances are you’ll probably get the results you were looking for- the safe and secure ones. Sure, maybe a few kids will show up, get some autographs and maybe even buy some product, but what is your pre event strategy? How did you activate on-site? How did you tie in the online component? Did you offer a complete branded experience or just a product toss? What was your follow through (post event strategy)?
And that’s just the demos and tours? You could have an in-depth analysis of your whole marketing strategy and all the initiatives involved, and you should, and we do…
Yes, there is something to be said for tradition and there is a lot to be said for the safe route especially in this economy. But the truth is that many brands are working the same strategy.
Why not go the extra step and do something so progressive that we will all remember it forever (like when Rocco dropped money from a helicopter). The worst that can happen is your brand will stand out from the rest.
Remember that we ALL want the same thing, increased sales. That can be the byproduct of any small one-off initiative. It’s not hard to sell a bit of this or a little of that. However, what we should all strive for is increased brand loyalty through a long-term strategy that can yield profits for many years to come… and that my friend will not be done working anyone else’s plan but your own.