Advertising is expensive. So, why not do it right? Even when done to perfection, you’ve only got a split second to grab the attention of your potential customer. You must get noticed and understood, and communicate a clear call to action – all in a blink of an eye.
So many brand builders try to get cute. They think they will create some mystery that will draw the viewer in to discover more. Forget about it! Others think you can blow minds with something that’s cool, unexpected, or awesome. Maybe so, but will they remember the brand that had that cool ad?
As experienced brand builders, it never ceases to amaze us that so many companies will spend good money to advertise their brand only to confuse their prospective buyers by leaving out one or more of the essential elements necessary to make their ads effective.
Advertising has a much better chance of being successful when you include all 5 essentials:
- What is it? We have seen many ads that simply don’t say what the product or service is! Sometimes working too closely with your brand and branded products results in the assumption that folks know what you are selling. Some may, but they are generally the one who have already bought. The new customers you are after don’t have a clue. Tell them what you are selling. Name the type of product or service to give them a reference for your ad.
- What does it do? Does it clean? Does it provide security? Does it impress their friends? Does it make them money? Does it save them time, improve their health, or reduce their costs? Surprisingly, this is often left out by brand builders who think that people will just know what their branded product does. If you have a name that says what you do, they might, but most brand builders have to put what their brand does clearly out front.
- What is its name? What good is an ad that doesn’t make the brand name clear? If it’s an audio or video ad, your brand name has to be mentioned multiple times. You can’t go on and on with some clever script and think that the listener or viewer will remember a brand name mentioned once or even twice. The audience is already on overload. Potential new customers need repetition to remember your name. So mention your name often – and don’t ever mention your competitors’ name!
- How do I get it? Don’t make this the missing link. The viewer or listener must know how to get your product. Your address, phone number, the retailers that carry your product, or your website should be visible. Don’t get them all excited and leave them wondering where they can get it. If you do, they will lose interest quickly as their mind tells them they can’t get it anyway, so why bother remembering the ad.
- What is its value? What is the price? What is the comparative value for money? What is the feeling they will have when they use your product or service? Is it security? Is it satisfaction? Is it pride? Communicating value puts them in a frame of mind to want what you are offering for themselves. Now, all the previous essentials lead them directly to a purchase!
When creating your own ads or working with advertising companies, make sure you are not just creating an entertaining work of art. Assure that your ad is resulting in an increase to your bottom line by delivering all the essentials!
Who Are We.
Having built and sold a bestselling national brand, we appreciate the value of brands and everything it takes to make them successful. Companies are valued by their brand equity. Achieving and maximizing brand equity requires tremendous respect for all your customers, from your wholesaler to your end user.
Starting in our laundry room with no money and no knowledge of the industry, we built the famous Barefoot Wine brand. We learned a lot they don’t teach in school and much of it the hard way. Although our success was in consumer products, our real world experience will be helpful to anyone looking for information and advice about brands.
We have written the New York Times Bestselling Business Book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand, which chronicles the history of the famous brand from its inception through its acquisition. Our book is now required reading in schools of entrepreneurship across the country. We hope this book will provide inspiration and encouragement for all those contemplating starting a brand or wanting to improve their existing brand.
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey
-Barefoot Wine Founders