In the ad business, too many agencies lack the skills and experience to look at a client’s business problem and know how to develop a strategy that implements the right mix of advertising solutions as it specifically relates to your problem. Instead, they fall back onto brand advertising or promotional work (in-store signage or ads focused on discounted prices). And that means they ignore a powerful type of advertising that is critical to innovative products: Product Advertising.
I have over 20 years of experience driving brand growth with product-based advertising. It works powerfully for both your product and your brand. Like any other type of advertising, it shouldn’t be used in every situation, but there are times when it’s the ONLY option that can move your business forward. Unfortunately, many agencies don’t fully understand its power, so it’s often taken it off the table.
In fact, when you have a product that has compelling consumer benefits, product advertising is the right direction for building brand value while selling product in the meantime. How? Here are eight important reasons product ads are powerful for your brand:
- Product Stories are Recalled at Critical Sales Points. Byron Sharp reminds us that a strong brand has strong “physical and mental availability”. Mental availability means consumers think of your product at the right times – like needing a pick-me-up snack and thinking “Snickers”. When you have a unique, compelling product, and when consumers know why your product relates to them, they will recall it when they need it or give you preference at the point of purchase.
- Products Build Specific Brand Value. Product is the strongest way to personify brand values. If you are building a new brand or need to cause a dramatic shift in perception of your brand, bring your product to the forefront. It’ll create the largest (and fastest) change.
- Products are Humanly Powerful. Dave Trott observes, “Don’t tell me you’re a comedian, make me laugh”. Yet, many brand advertisers spend time making big promises, and then never give consumers solid proof to believe those promises will come true. Great product advertising makes promises, then shows why the product “makes them laugh”. Once the consumer buys and laughs, you’ll have strong brand connections.
- Products Build Price. In my experience, a well-received brand can add 5% to 25% to the price of the product (with a few big luxury brand exceptions). By contrast, clearly articulated product value easily adds 50%…100%…or more to the price consumers are willing to pay. You can combine product value with good brand to build even more value – just don’t leave out the product.
- Products are Emotional. Traditional advertising wanders quickly into a wilderness of emotions that aren’t terribly effective. Usually, the hope is for what Byron Sharp calls “hot blooded” emotions. In truth, emotions closer to the product and the purchase are far more effective and long lasting – like the emotions connected to the work the consumer does with tool and hardware products.
- Products Establish Trust in Your Brand’s Promise. Brands build trust through a cycle of promise and delivery. Consumers who trust product promises 1) buy the product 2) see the value it delivers and 3) become more loyal with a clear sense of expectations.
- Product Story is Naturally Memorable. Brand ads work hard (often too hard) to make memorable statements. But messages centered on a product are easy for consumers to remember because consumers are adept at working with these messages – making them the ones that drive consumer action.
- Product Advertising Brands While You Sell. So far, I’ve focused on the issue of branding. But there’s an added power to product-oriented advertising – it sells a tremendous amount of product while branding. This is critical in the early phases of brand building, where the nuts and bolts of driving product out the retail door are critical.
More companies need product-oriented advertising than are using it today. So take the leap and separate yourself from any drive to create the next work of “brand art”. Give product-based advertising a look. You’ll be surprised at how far you can take your brand…and how your consumers will thank you.
Copyright 2017 – Doug Garnett – All Rights Reserved