Ever drive past a billboard and get frustrated because you can’t figure out what it says? I do. Billboards can be an extremely effective method of advertising when done right. When not done right, they can be an enormous waste of time and money.
You have a very short amount of time to get your message across on a billboard. You have anywhere from 3-6 seconds, if you’re lucky and traffic is reasonably slow. That’s not a lot of time. I constantly see businesses trying to cram in all their information on billboards. Address, phone number, a picture of the owner with his dog, the product, a customer testimonial, the product logo … it goes on and on. The message gets lost and nothing is remembered as the driver tries to drive and read through the jumble.
I spent a week in Chicago many years ago. I attended a school put on by the Giant Killers, a marketing instruction company. The first question they asked us was… What’s your USP? Well, we all looked at each other, shrugged and developed blank stares. Our instructor continued to explain that a USP is a “Unique Selling Position”. Basically, what makes our product the best buy.
YOU NEED TO DETERMINE YOU USP FOR YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE.
Years ago I represented a Chevrolet car dealer. He was reasonably successful, but wanted to take the dealership to next level and he hired me to accomplish this. One of the things he wanted to do was sell Chevets, a good solid second family car. It’s low price made it a great car for the blue collar family.
I produced a nice TV spot featuring the car and proceeded to map out the running schedule for the ads. When I presented the budget to the dealer he immediately threw out all the 11:00pm news spots. I protested, but he wouldn’t budge on the ads.
THE SCHEDULE WAS PRODUCING RESULTS, BUT NOT TO THE DEGREE I WAS LOOKING FOR.
Truth in advertising is one of the most important rules in business. It’s what drives the ridiculously long disclaimers in automotive advertising and the list of discouraging side effects when the pharmaceutical companies hock their latest medical miracles. I don’t know about you, but every time I hear the side effects of some of these meds, I wonder if the ailment isn’t better than the cure.
So, I enter my favorite fast food restaurant and order that perfect cheeseburger pictured so deliciously over the counter. I take my treasure to the table and unwrap my sandwich to find a squashed bun, most of the melted cheese sticking to the wrapper, catsup all over the place and a pickle stuck to the underside.
About a year ago, I saw a great pizza shop ad on the back of a newspaper tab. It was full color, full page and it looked great. The ad actually made me hungry for pizza, so I decided to order. There was this great effective ad, but no phone number or address. I had no idea where the shop was. My resolve was to order from a competitor.
Tropicana’s New Design click to Tropicana’s site .
It’s my pleasure to bring our readers another wonderful new voice, that of Alexandra Gergar, a great photographer, vegetarian cook, and marketing major at the University of Pittsburgh. Alex’s focus in Thinking Big Works, as you can tell from the banner, is the intersection of food and design, now coming to you on Saturdays.
Food & Design: redesign mis-steps
CLEAN AND SIMPLE
With clean bold lines, a beautiful typeface and no pictures, you would think that Tropicana’s carton redesign should have been hailed as work of imagination. Should have been…
A 15+% return on
investment – for real!
click for details
enlightened orgs: inspiration
ECONOMIC SOLUTIONS WILL BE FOUND AT THE LOCAL LEVEL
Michael Kalmanovich, owner of a unique, organic food supermarket in Edmonton, Alberta, does not lack for inspired, innovative ideas to fulfill his passion to sell locally grown organic food, socially conscious products, and a free dose of education in the process. He took his first step of faith in 1991 by opening a store with $20,000 invested, $167.00 in his bank account and a huge abundance of dreams.
Earth’s General Store was opened in a small location on the fringe of the university in the capital city of the province. It is also smack dab in the heart of a ranching and oil-based economy. It was in this province that KD Lang, a home-town celebrity, riled local extremist ranchers who defaced community signs outside her home town of Consort, Alberta, after her public service announcement in which she spoke out in favor of vegetarianism.
If opening an organic food store in a business culture like that sounds like it takes guts and a leap of faith, that pales by comparison when you hear Michael’s latest dream!
enlightened organizations: global trends: inspiration
“The Aura of the Lake”
click to enlarge
CONSCIOUSNESS TIPPING POINT
Since the US Presidential election, I have been contemplating that moment in history when your country exercised their Free Will and made a statement for change by choosing Barak Obama as President-elect.
Many people have since focused on the shattering of the ethnic glass ceiling as the most significant outcome of this election. But, I think, there is something else, more profound, and of greater global significance, that happened. To use Malcolm Gladwells term, I think the historic implication of this event is that we hit the “tipping point” on Consciousness.
Our Thursday posting is dedicated to Network Marketing, so what better time than the Christmas season to talk about what it means to “network market.”
Probably the greatest networker of them all was Jesus Christ. He had a message he believed in, and knew it had to be shared with others. He gathered 12 others who believed in him and also wanted to spread the message.
Vancouver, British Columbia’s, Alisa Smith, free lance writer and journalist, and partner J.B. McKinnon, author, challenged themselves to a one year mission to eat only locally grown foods from a 100 mile radius of their Vancouver home as a statement in support of the environment and local growers.
How do you decide if you should use network marketing to distribute your goods or services? Or, how do you decide if this industry is where you should build a business, as a source of either full-time or part-time income? What are the benefits?
Direct selling or network marketing is an industry that needs some clarification. In these blog posts, we aim to assist the reader in making these decisions by providing factual, unbiased information.
Our Thursday blogs are dedicated to a discussion of the network marketing industry, what it is, and what it may offer as a model for the future economy. We welcome comments and debate!
Network marketing is a six decade old industry which, in terms of the life of an industry, makes it not much more mature than a teenager – and like most teenagers – it is incredibly misunderstood. It is a model we want to pay a great deal of attention to because we think it has a great deal to offer for emerging marketing methods.
Speed of change today is exponential. In just a few hundred years, civilization moved through an Agrarian Society, an Industrial Society; and within that Industrial Society, a Manufacturing Age and an Information Age.
Since we began VanAmburg Group in 1977, we have worked with thousands of clients, mostly in North America. During those 30 years, we learned a few things, and developed a few more. Within confidentiality limits, we’ve decided to share many of them with you. Every week over the coming months, we’ll add multiple articles, templates, case studies, interviews with thought leaders and CEOs, and tutorials, along with trends and analysis on everything at the intersection of research, planning, marketing and technology.