discuss a task

how to waste your promotion budget: the risks of an incorrect brand message

One can talk scientifically for a long time about why modern people are tired of information, forget any received thought in 3 seconds, and only pay attention to what concerns them personally. The fact is a fact: our time has created a new type of thinking - wandering, clip-based, and searching for something new.

This means that we cannot afford to stretch our thoughts in messages, speak abstractly, unload our "quality product" or "customer-oriented approach" with a heavy brick and rely on articles from Marketing Science in our messages.

In an ideal world, we could tell our potential customers over a cup of coffee why they should buy from us. But in reality, the consumer decides in a fraction of a second whether we are worth their money.

Of course, products and services can say everything for us, but a clear and convincing brand message will be the best way to attract customers.

What's the problem?

Some companies spend millions a month on advertising, believing that success depends on smart promotion. Others try to understand how to quickly track and predict audience behavior. For this, startups appear on marketplaces, algorithms for evaluating user behavior in social networks are developed, and other "symptomatic" actions. However, you need to formulate the brand message initially and then allocate a budget for promotion.

To avoid wasting the budget on advertising, you need to make sure that people interpret both the visual and verbal shell of advertising correctly.

Let's look at how a brand message leads to unpredictable results and how to fix it.

Understandably unmissable

The main goal of advertising is to stimulate sales. It may seem simple, but often an ambiguous brand message leads to a completely different effect - a wave of negativity and scandal development.

Wrong message = the risk of expressing ambiguity = costs to restore reputation.

In 2005, the French fashion house Marithe et François Girbaud caused a stir with their spring campaign. They released outdoor advertising that copied Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper," but the Christ and apostles were portrayed as female models wearing the brand's clothing.

The creators explained that they wanted to show the changing role of women in society with their creation. Not only did customers react sharply, but the Catholic Church also sued the brand and won the case. Marithe et François Girbaud failed to restore their reputation and closed after 8 years.

If you want to stand out among competitors, you need to analyze the most acute and relevant topics. Then, based on this analysis, form a message that either does not touch on these topics or solves a burning question for the audience.

Why are there no sales?

SMO specialists often have to answer this claim. It is believed that if there are no sales, then the promotion is set up incorrectly, although the problem may lie deeper.

Incorrect message = the risk of not conveying the USP = no sales.

At one point, the world-renowned and highly regarded Cadillac brand released a less spacious and cheaper model, the Cadillac Cimarron. Consumers reacted negatively, as a small Cadillac is no longer a Cadillac.

When consumers see a cheaper or simply a different format of a beloved brand with a recognizable USP, they often perceive this move by the manufacturer as a demarche of the parent brand towards a deterioration of quality. This applies to brands that are entering the market for the first time and whose message does not have a clear USP. If in addition to all this, there is no strong demand for the product in the market, consumers simply won't understand why they should buy this product in particular.

To avoid such a "misunderstanding," it is worth conducting an analysis of the audience in advance and identifying the topics that concern people. Then, based on these pains, form a message that will help the consumer understand the importance of the USP.

Information noise

Statisticians have determined that if information doesn't capture a modern person's attention within the first 3 seconds, they move on to another post in their feed, switch the TV channel, or scroll past the ad page. The battle for attention is the main battle of our time.

Incorrect message = the risk of getting lost in the noise = expenses to restore recognition.

In the 1980s, Reebok outsold Nike in terms of volume. The latter increased its marketing budget, conducted research, and regained its leadership by attracting a female audience, which was not previously considered a significant segment. Nike broke through the information veil with its targeted message and came out on top.

Similarly, a cafe called "Birch" or a beauty salon named "Mariana" are unlikely to be able to build a recognizable brand, as there are so many similar offerings on every street corner, like trends on TikTok.

If you want your "voice" to not get lost in the noisy stream, it is worth analyzing the communication of competitors and formulating a message that will highlight your brand against the general background.

Wrong message = no message

Brand success does not begin with planning promotion stages and sales markets, but with a Big Idea. A big idea makes you noticeable. However, not every message is suitable: it must be transparent, new, emotional, and well thought out.

The chance of missing the audience is higher than hitting it. Recovering from the consequences of a wrong message will be more expensive and energy-intensive than the initial careful formation of a message that needs to be conveyed to people. Then you can reach the consumer's consciousness and say, "This is exactly what you need."

In our Telegram channel, you will find more communication breakdowns from various brands.

We actively explore
the world branding and advertising
Subscribe to our social media
accounts to explore the world together.

contact us

    Thanks for signing up!

    Wrong email format!

    Your message has been sent successfully!