MADMEN & WOMEN OF MADISON AVENUE
Harking back to many of the great advertising agencies of the 1950’s and 60’s-- giants like McCann-Erickson, Leo Burnett, Ogilvy & Mather who ruled the streets of Madison Avenue, NY all relied upon their broad sense of pop culture, wild imaginations and sheer grit to producing some of the world’s best known advertising and promotional campaigns in the history of commercial art and advertising-- some of which still continue to resonate deeply with each and every one of us today.
The history of advertising can be traced back to ancient civilizations. It became a major force in capitalist economies in the mid-19th century, based primarily on newspapers and magazines. In the 20th century, advertising grew rapidly with new technologies such as direct mail, radio, television, and eventually into new media such as the Internet and smart phones. In the 1920s-modern advertising was created with the techniques introduced with the advertising of tobacco most significantly with the campaigns of Edward Bernays an Austrian-American pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda, considered the founder of modern "Madison Avenue" advertising.
Today, with the steady rise of digital technology and advent of sophisticated computer graphics, the omnipresence of social media activity has changed the world as we know it, literally evolving it into a cyberspace of “hyper-real” digital media and communications. Yet, even with this crescendo of technology many of the big agencies still rely upon a traditional set of principles that are fundamental to fostering the creative process. This usually includes a creative director, a team of innovative thinkers, copywriters and a cadre of talented artists (graphic and production) to transform their messages into visually stimulating commercial marketing pieces designed to captivate their audiences.
Like the big agencies of the past and on a much smaller scale, PRMG’s National Marketing Department in some ways echoes the sentiments and shares many of the core principles of our great advertising predecessors-- dipping into the well of creativity, using imagination and coupling it with the power of art and visual communication. Our objective is aimed toward resonating with our target audiences. This comes in many different forms of communication, some in the way print, digital and new media. Like many of our competitors, our goal is to provide some of the finest, if not best-in-class marketing collateral, dynamic web platforms and customer retention management tools in the mortgage industry today-- and along with our own twist or USP.
I would like to touch briefly upon perhaps one of the most misunderstood, if not most important attributes of a company-- I am speaking about the brand of course.
I personally like to define “brand” as the unique experience a customer has when interacting with a company, a product, or a service.
As I mentioned earlier, we are living in an environment of hyper-awareness. Information is readily available at your fingertips and there is a constant barrage of digital communication in our face 24/7. Looking out into the world today, the ideology behind what a brand was in the past 100 years is perhaps considered to be even more important now. Some will tell you that Brand is both “psychology and science” brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark. Products have their life cycles. A Brand however, will typically outlive their products.
Brand strategies are driven by many variables. Graphic elements and/or styles designed to unify visual communication systems is just one example. There is much more to developing a brand other than a look and feel. Branding is the voice, vision and personality of a company; creating uniqueness that sets a company apart from their competitors.
Tell Proctor and Gamble a company that serves nearly Five Billion of the more than seven billion people on the planet today that brand is not quantifiable?
Since 1837, P&G (Proctor & Gamble) has built a rich heritage of touching consumers’ lives with brands that make life a little better every day. P&G is a company of leading brands. They have 23 family brands with gross annual sales of $1 billion to more than $10 billion. Nearly all of their 23 billion-dollar brands hold the number one or two position in their category or segment, and they all have significant growth and value creation potential.
Did you know? Coca-Cola has retained the No. 3 spot on Interbrand's annual Best Global Brands ranking for the fourth consecutive year, with an estimated value of $79.2 billion.
WHAT IS USP YOU ASK?
The unique selling point or selling proposition is a term that was developed by television advertising pioneer Rosser Reeves of Ted Bates & Company. As a marketing concept, it was originally proposed to explain a pattern in successful advertising campaigns of the early 1940's. The USP states that such campaigns made unique propositions to customers that convinced them to switch brands.
UNDERSTANDING THE THREE PRINCIPLES OF USP
According to Rosser Reeves, the "Unique Selling Proposition” must follow three basic principles:
1. The advertiser must present a definite proposition: If you buy X, you will get a specific benefit;
2. The benefit must be unique to the product itself, unavailable in the products offered by competitors; and
3. The proposition must be a "selling" one—that is, the benefit must be one that many people will want. (For example, Colgate toothpaste "cleans your breath while it cleans your teeth.")
PRMG for example is “Built by Originators for Originators”. PRMG offers what we consider to be the “Best Combination” of Product, Price, Service and Technology--heck, we even offer Education! We get it, many of our competitors may very well offer something similar. But at the end of the day, and with everything being equal--- service seems to resonate with most.
It is just human nature to seek the path of least resistance. No one likes “red tape”. Whether B2B or B2C, good service goes a long way. So even if you are priced great or claim to have better products, if I can’t get my hands on it fast enough or must jump through hoops, I will be more inclined to go elsewhere. However, if the product is average at best, but the service is above average and I can meet the demands placed upon me, I will not only come back, I will even brag to all my friends.
A FINAL WORD
Yes, it is all true, modified by success and tested by time, a well-crafted brand can make the difference in how a company resonates with all those who encounter the brand. Over a period, along with a culture that fosters behaviors in support of company values, brand begins to create value in of itself by providing employees with direction, inspiration, motivation, and makes acquiring new customers easier. Many companies put the value of their brand on their balance sheet. Let’s face it, you don’t see Coca Cola, Nike or Apple “the world's No. 1 brand in 2016” just handing out their company logo or brand guidelines to anyone willy-nilly.
Finally, Brand in its purist visual form should convey trust, promise and culture. That is what a brand experience is all about.