Thursday, April 02, 2009

What's Wrong With Marketing

Perception. Self-Perception. Everyone has a way of convincing themselves they're number one in some way shape or form. But that's not true.

The managers managing brands think they're OK even if they're not number one. They think OK of themselves. They come to work today to do the same thing they did yesterday and what they will do tomorrow.

Avis tried harder for a long long time. Never made it past number two. And rifled through managements faster than you can shake a stick at. So, unable to come up with a better idea (lack of abstract problem-solving skills) the linear thinking problem solvers simply buzzed their We Try Harder into a famous campaign. Famous? Yes. Memorable? Yes. But that never translated into enough rental units moved to become #1. Memorability does not always equal more SUSTAINED sales. Neither does generating impressions, celebrity endorsements by Oprah or Tiger, etc.
Apple is not a brand name that slithers off the tongue. The Ps get in the way. But Avis is even more a brand name that slithers off your tongue. A man, and most travelers were men back in the heyday of car rental advertising ordered a almost sounded like a beer. Shemales rented an Avis. Now, the industry is so dominated by linear thinking cost cutting problem solving managements that it's a heavily price driven loyalty driven category that spends relatively little on advertising.
Well, when someone at one of these companies comes up with something important to say I guess they'll stop "branding" (It's what you do when you don't have anything important to say) and start "differentiating" themselves with a product-based reason-for-being communicated via traditional and electronic advertising.
Hell, General Motors wasted billions on shemalish advertising every year. All those people thought well of themselves and that they were doing the right thing everyday. Now look at 'em. Problem is/was, they design(ed) and build(t) products to rental car fleet standards. So what did that say about the people who bought their sedans on their own? Not much. I can hear what the neighbors are thinking. "Jesus! He/She bought a rental car." Bye bye GM.

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