Last week, I joined a client for a virtual brainstorm. The focus: Our marketing next steps in these trying times.
We established a rule up-front: For an idea to move forward,
it has to serve our customers. In other
words, if it benefits only us, it does not advance. It goes to either the “rework” or “trash”
This is a good rule for new ideas in general. Two decades ago, Doug Hall and his team at
Eureka! Ranch found that new-product concepts with a high level of “overt
benefit” outperformed concepts with a low level by 3:1.
In your local supermarket, right now,
there are hundreds of products destined for the graveyard. They’re just taking up space, hoping for a
miracle. Most you’ll never try, and many
aren’t even on your radar.
Here are some signs that a brand lacks a
clear intent to win:
“Manipulating the masses into buying stuff
they don’t need! That’s what I do! That’s marketing!”
That’s an actual quote I once heard from a marketing director. This was during an inventing session, the goal of which was to create new products that would make his customers (in other words, people) happier.
I’ve also been in a conference room when an executive flat-out called his customers (also people) “stupid.”
I don’t believe that, but some people do. Devotees of Hemingway think she uses too many adverbs, probably. And some call her stories “derivative.”
Many, many others love Rowling’s vividly imaginative worlds and the lessons of her stories. More than a few people even have Harry Potter tattoos. And, as Roy Peter Clark notes, Rowling’s gift for naming characters is virtually unparalleled. Continue reading “J.K. Rowling Is a Hack”