When Brands Choose Wisely

It’s 10 years since Morgan Spurlocks award winning Supersize Me documentary hit cinemas & he hasn’t set foot in a McDonald’s since.  We watched the before and after of what it meant to eat such food for 30 days and it shocked us all.

SUPERSIZE_ME

When I look at the most successful brands in the world; one over riding factor seems common to them all. It is this; authenticity.

Authenticity; according to the Oxford English Dictionary is

 Based on facts; accurate or reliable:
an authentic depiction of the situation

It makes sense. If you want consumers to buy from you they need to believe what you are telling them. And in order for something to be believable there has to be some element of truth to it.

We know the truth of Apple is in it’s great design. The truth of Ryanair is in it’s low cost and so on and so forth. This is why we buy from them. We buy their truth. And marketing as I’ve discussed before is ‘your truth told’.

So imagine my surprise when I saw McDonald’s latest advertising campaign:
Taste is a Powerful Thing
Now while I acknowledge the changes that McDonalds has made over the last few years in terms of adding calorific details on to their menus and improving the quality of the meat in their meals,  I do find the concepts of taste and wisdom at odds with a fast food brand.
Yes, Taste is a powerful thing.  
It’s one we associate with fresh food, good food, restaurants, artisan food products and so on.  If we were being wise (and let’s face it, we’re not always wise) we would choose food that is good for us; that sustains us, that keeps us healthy. To me that is Choosing Wisely.
And to me choosing fast food
is never choosing wisely.
So while McDonald’s has been trying to reposition itself away from the negatives associated with fast food; I think this latest campaign is a leap too far too soon.
Let’s see how the campaign fares out.
What  are your thoughts on it?
What about your brand? Does it ring true?

Finola Howard is a brand and marketing strategist who is passionate about the impact that great marketing can have on business success. She sees marketing in a broader more strategic sense and works with businesses and entrepreneurs who want to grow.  @FinolaHoward

The Biggest Vision Mistake of them All

Vision. It’s critical for the start up and for the long established business. It’s something that’s often deferred until the business is less busy or it’s cloaked in corporate lingo that nobody can understand.

All the research tells us that nothing else will make sense until you’ve tied vision down. You can’t position the business. You can’t create your marketing. In some cases you can’t even create your product until you do this one thing – Create Your Vision.

The Biggest Vision Mistake of the them all

Vision defines you and it defines the business. It sets the scene for carving the path to a future that is embraced, striven for and ultimately achieved.  For it to have an impact it needs to be felt in the gut of everyone in your business from the person who sweeps the floor to the CEO.

And, if you study those we term successful then without exception every one of them knew where they were going, what they wanted to achieve and what it would feel like when they got there. They may not always have had a clear path but they did know what the end game would look like.

A great question is raised in Dan Sullivan’sHow the Best get Better“.  

“If we were meeting three years from today – and you were to look back over those three years today – what has to have happened during that period, both personally and professionally for you to feel happy about your progress?”

Consider asking this question of people you want to do business with or even the people you hire.  Whatever answer you get – very quickly you can see how a person looks to the future and decide if that person is someone you want to work with. You’ll know if they have an idea for the future or if they are focused on where they came from.

As business owners we need to write Vision down, draw it or express it in some way that it can be recorded. It helps when things get tough but most importantly it brings a consciousness to our work, our businesses and ultimately life.

It is too easy to fall into a passive approach to the business and therefore be at the whim of every outside influence. With consciousness we can create change and we can create opportunity. Add vision and we bring focus to that consciousness and all things are possible.

Question: So what’s the biggest Vision Mistake of them all?
Answer : Not Having One!

 My recommendation? Write it down.

  • What do you want to achieve in the business beyond making money?
  • What does that look like?
  • Who are your happiest customers? Why?
  • What did they buy ?
  • Why did they buy it from you?
  • What’s your role in the business now?
  • How will this change as you get closer to your goal?
  • What’s the Turnover and the Profitability?
  • When will you have achieved your vision? What Date?

So what’s Your Vision? Tell me. Tell the world. And we’ll be there to say ‘we knew you when you had this great idea’.

Finola Howard is a brand and marketing strategist who is passionate about the impact that great marketing can have on business success. She sees marketing in a broader more strategic sense and works with businesses and entrepreneurs who want to grow. @FinolaHoward

 

Hey Youre Okay… You’ll be fine… Just Breathe

Doing my regular TED.com fix and came across this talk by Ze Frank who’s a comedian and creates web based shared experiences. In 2006 he called on his fans to write his show for him and as a result of inspiration from his fans they have prompted him to write songs, create videos and web games.

This one hit me this morning after an email from a friend who is a little overwhelmed right now… Ze Frank also got a similar email from someone who was in a similar place… and with the help of his online friends he created this song… This one’s for you… my friend…

All together now… Hey Youre Okay … You’ll be fine… Just Breathe…

Paul Arden on Thinking Differently

One of my favourite Authors is Paul Arden (RIP). He was the guy who originated the Silk Cut Purple Ads that changed how we all looked at Advertising. He also went on to write some wonderful books which should be recommended reading for any entrepreneur.

He is funny, insightful and has a different take on any subject you can imagine. Here’s two pages from his books (It’s not how good you are. It’s how good you want to be and Whatever you Think. Think the Opposite).

Paul Arden Quotes

What I like about Paul Arden is – he kicks my proverbial while inspiring me at the same time. What do you think?

Finola Howard is a brand and marketing strategist who is passionate about the impact that great marketing can have on business success. She sees marketing in a broader more strategic sense and works with businesses and entrepreneurs who want to grow. @FinolaHoward

Testimonial; Barbara Heneghan, Gaol Siar

Finola is incredibly intuitive and helped to bring clarity and focus to my business and to my brand.

As a start up company I feel there is no price you can attach to the value of having someone who understands you and clearly guides you through the process.

I highly recommend Finola for her passion, drive, vision and understanding.

This testimonial was brought to you from
Barbara Heneghan, Gaol Siar
www.gaolsiar.com

5 Simple Truths about Great Marketing

Everyone knows you need marketing to make a business successful.  It’s behind every product we buy, every place we go and even how we get there.  One would assume that we’d all have an inherent understanding of what Marketing is and what is needed to make it great.  We live with it every day so it must be just common sense.  The reality, as we know is different.

Marketing is Your Truth Told

Marketing is Your Truth Told

Here are the Top Five Simple Truths about Great Marketing. Test them against the brands you love and see what you find.

  1. Marketing is about you.
    And it’s about making that something identifiable.
  2. It’s about choosing the right customers for you.
    And it’s about how you choose to relate to those customers.
  3. It’s about creating a product or service that those customers want.
    And it’s about how you get it to them at a price that they agree to.
  4. It’s about the people that deliver those products and services.
    And it’s about how you choose to relate to them.
  5. It’s about having a vision and passion for what you do.
    And it’s about how you can create a successful business from that.

Marketing is not a department that works in isolation from the rest of the business. It’s not a flyer. It’s not a shot in the dark. It’s something that ties everything you do together into something real. Something remarkable. Something Memorable. Something true.

Marketing is Your Truth Told.
It will be told whether you influence it or not.
Why not make it something great?

Finola Howard is a brand and marketing strategist who is passionate about the impact that great marketing can have on business success. She sees marketing in a broader more strategic sense and works with businesses and entrepreneurs who want to grow. @FinolaHoward

 

Testimonial; Liam Curham, Dataworks

After a several attempts over the years to address the marketing side of our business with the aid of different marketing companies, we finally found someone who offered something different.

Finola takes a very strategic look at our overall business, the direction we are taking and the internal structures. What I like most is Finola’s ability to take us out of our comfort zone and challenge us.

This testimonial was brought to you from
Liam Curham, CEO Dataworks Ltd. www.dataworks.ie