Saturday, January 08, 2005

Lowest Common Denominator Messages

By Dale Wolf

Re-evaluate Branding in a Divided Society

In the 50’s and 60’s we were a more homogenous society just when television consisted of three major network options for the “Leave it to Beaver” nuclear family. Companies spent vast fortunes instilling brand messages into our minds. They did it with such effectiveness that four decades later we still remember the slogans of brands no longer on the market.

Today, such brand efforts need to land on infinite family structure types all moving in a blur through their lives and all accessing an infinite number of media that fragment delivery of marketing messages. Today, creating a single brand message, while important, is more difficult and less sustainable. A single message watered down to its lowest common denominator (what we call an LCD Message) is too often true for all customers; but not true for any one particular customer. In the fragmented society, that one particular customer is unique. It is that one customer who buys.

In the future, marketers will add context to their product branding to create brand propositions that are more relevant to what each individual is doing. This is particularly true in e-commerce where new technologies are emerging to enable reaching individual customers, wherever and whenever they are ready to buy.

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