Branding is OUT. RESULTS are IN!

Do I have your attention?

Allow me to explain what I mean when I so boldly proclaim that branding is out and results are in. Let me ask a simple question. Have you ever said, in your local advertising history, something like this - “Well, we advertise just to keep our name out there” ? Or maybe you’ve said something like this, “Well, we advertise for top of mind awareness”. Or maybe you’ve chuckled at the age old advertising quote, “half my advertising works, I just don’t know which half!”

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t met any local advertisers lately who have the patience nor the budget to advertise, “just to keep my name out there”. And you should know what part of your ad spend is delivering results! Let’s all agree if you’re going to invest a serious marketing dollar, a precious advertising dollar, that you want to see a very real and very tangible result. Would you agree with me on that? I hope so. So the idea of spending money “just to keep my name out there” frankly, I think is antiquated. I just want you to be more deliberate than that, more strategic than that. For you - the LOCAL advertiser. Hey, if you’re Verizon, if you’re Apple, if you’re Budweiser, if you’re a great big national entity with a great big branding budget, then by all means, brand away. But for us local advertisers, whose every dollar has to deliver a result, let’s be more strategic than that.

Now, please, please, please don’t misunderstand me. I did NOT say that brands are unimportant. Sometimes my message is misinterpreted. I never said that brands are unimportant. Every one of you reading this represents a brand, some of you wear your brand every day on your apparel. We all understand the value of a brand.

What I am saying is, spending advertising dollars to do nothing more than present your brand, keep your name out there, in hopes that at some point down the road someone remembers you when they are in your buying cycle is not enough.

Southwest Airlines. That’s a brand. You see that name, you picture their logo, it automatically triggers an idea in your head as to who they are. Southwest Airlines. What does that brand mean to you? Cheap? Low fares? Inexpensive? Those are all in the ballpark. Here is Southwest’s brand in four words; the low cost airline. That’s it. Everyone knows, you want to fly cheap, you go Southwest. That’s their brand, we can all agree on that.

Now, when you’re exposed to Southwest advertising, when Southwest spends good money to convince you and me to choose them over any other airline, what are some of the things they talk about? What’s the big campaign that launched Southwest into the stratosphere?

Bags fly FREE!

Does that support Southwest as the low cost airline? You bet it does! So, while the brand equals low cost airline, when Southwest advertises they don’t just stop there. They support the brand with a specific offer. Think of other Southwest campaigns, No change fees! $79 One Ways, these are all special offers, dynamic offers, that support the brand and endorse it as the low cost airline.

Branding is out and results are in. Creating a special offer, a dynamic offer, moves your advertising from just putting your brand out there to giving your customer an actionable purchase decision.