Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The battle between brand and retail.
Since the beginning of commerce, and certainly since Moshe Schlubbotnik, my grandfather, manned a pushcart on New York's Lower East Side, there's been a battle going on between building a brand and making an immediate sale. (Moshe built a brand. The little pushcart he slaved over eventually morphed into Schlubbotnik's with stores throughout the Northeast before the chain was bought by Federated stores and merged into Macy's. This made me the mogul I am today. The advertising thing, after all is just a lark.) But enough of my torpid family history and onto the matter at hand.
Retail advertising, as it is usually configured, screams price. If a "branding element" is stuffed into some piece of advertising schlock, like a pimento in a rancid olive, that's missing the point. The consumer sees price. Sees cheap. Sees commodity. Dell, about whom I have written lately, now that they have named their new agency Infamy, or whatever, seems to be sticking with the notion of running a retail campaign as well as a yet to be developed brand campaign. Boys and girls, dimwits and dimwitelles, this is a prescription for disaster. The consumer doesn't say, "that is a retail ad," or that is a "brand ad." They are all just ads. Think airlines. Think telcos. They all spent fortunes building brands then undoing everything their brand ads promulgated by commoditizing price ads. "We deliver a great experience." "We're $99 to Cleveland."
Mac, however, has taken a different tack. (As they so often do and with such success.) They create products and communications that evoke LUST. Desire is in all their ads. They create NEED for their product. HP is doing a good job with it too. Not to many others.
So, don't create brand ads or retail ads. Create Lustvertising. It drives sales and builds brand value.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 7:27 PM