A thriving business requires high-quality, in-demand products. It cannot survive, let alone thrive, on high-quality alone. The in-demand part is every bit as essential and often proves the more difficult part of the equation. What takes a product from useful or nice-to-have to necessity? That’s the question some of the most successful companies in the world have been able to answer in their own distinctive ways to create brands that are recognized everywhere and that millions of the people across the globe feel compelled to own.
When you are looking for inspiration to take your business advertising to the next level, look to these kings of advertising to see how they have mastered the art.
Guru 1: Apple
“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them,” stated Steve Jobs in a 1998 BusinessWeek article. While Jobs was talking about whether consumer research had a hand in product creation, the same could be said of Apple’s very successful “Get a Mac” advertising campaign.
At the time the campaign began, Apple was still soaking up the success of the iPod, originally released in 2001, but it had yet to release the iPhone, the iPad or make a big dent in Microsoft’s lock on the personal computer industry.
That’s when Apple’s marketing department decided to show consumers why they wanted a Mac computer instead of a PC, creating a total of 66 ads for TV that showcased different aspects of what, in their opinion, made Macs better for consumers.
Lesson 1: Focus on each aspect of a product individually so consumers can see what they are missing by choosing another product.
Guru 2: GE
GE is the world’s most profitable appliance company, according to Forbes, but it didn’t get to the top by chance. GE began advertising early, and it advertised in a concise, logical way. As a company with many diverse products, it knew it had to market its products individually, which led to separate advertisements for medical supplies, home electronics and automotive products.
Lesson 2: Don’t waste money on advertising your company as all encompassing. Market individual products specifically to the groups most likely to buy them.
Guru 3: De Beers
One of the most controversial advertising success stories of all time belongs to the world’s top diamond company. Despite detractors, though, there is no denying that the De Beers advertising strategy led the company to where it sits high atop its competition today.
The original intent of the De Beers ad campaign was to make diamonds more important to the average working family. So began the challenge of making a diamond an absolute necessity in every woman’s life.
Steeped in sentimentality, the De Beers advertisements convinced readers that a diamond was proof of love and that “A Diamond Is Forever.”
Lesson 3: Appeal to people’s emotions. Make them laugh. Make them cry. Make them feel something, and they are more likely to take a second look at your product.
Business doesn’t have to be big to be successful, but more business and more profits are things many business owners strive toward. With the availability of cloud storage plans that make backups automatic and the ease of sending out Quickbooks invoices from either the Intuit desktop application or QuickBooks Online, more emphasis can be put on business growth over day-to-day tasks.
While your company might be able to survive on a small scale without an extensive advertising campaign, it won’t grow into Apple by itself. You don’t have to have a multi-million dollar advertising budget to incorporate lessons from successful international companies. You simply have to do things on a smaller scale.
Internet video sites, and the potential for videos to go viral, have eliminated the need to pay for advertising space on television like Apple did for their “Get a Mac” campaign.” You need only to pay to create the video.
Since advertising costs in publications and on websites are generally based on readership numbers, advertising in a niche publication is generally cheaper than advertising in a general interest publication, making GE’s brand of advertising cost effective.
“A Diamond Is Forever” is a four-word slogan that has not changed since 1948, and it all started with a copy editor with an idea.
About the Author
Stacy Logan – is an advertising consultant for a Fortune 500 company. She loves her job and her pet lizard, Ralph.