I’m one of the world’s best jazz pianists. There, I said it. What? What’s wrong? Why are you laughing at me? I really want you to believe me.
Sadly, whether it’s my piano skills or your branding, you can’t just tell people what to think. People are smart. And cynical.
So where does that leave you? How can you change brand perception? Here’s a thought: as a company, go do the things that will change perception. If you want to be known as the friendly company, be friendly. If you want to be known as innovative, be innovative. If you want your carpet sale to seem exciting … well, okay, so some things aren’t possible. (We kid, we kid.)
Let’s take a real world case study – sedans. Perhaps you want your sedan to be known as the fun brand. Sure, you could create fun TV spots full of fun people, fun music and a VO that proclaims, “This is a fun car.” Or, you could do what BMW did when they brought back the Mini Cooper. It wasn’t only designed to look fun, it was engineered to perform fun.
Once your product or service genuinely reflects your branding focus – and the two messages align – then advertising can make a difference. Just remember – you can’t just tell people what to think. People don’t want to be sold anything and, frankly, they won’t believe a word.
Let’s go back to the Mini Cooper. When BMW introduced the car, they didn’t tell people the car was fun. Their campaign actually was fun. On one billboard, they tied a real Cooper to a string and made it a giant yo-yo. Another billboard had a Cooper on a giant electric toy car track. A third billboard put a Cooper on a roller coaster. In malls, they put Coopers on large platforms so they looked like the toy cars you rode for a quarter. They didn’t tell people they’re fun. They were fun. Show, don’t tell. This approach is not only more believable, most of the time it’s more memorable.
So perhaps it’s time to take a hard look at your own brand messaging to ensure it aligns with your products and services. In the meantime, I’ll be working on my jazz chord progressions. Seriously, I need it.