Whether you love or hate TV commercials, studying them is a great way to learn the art of telling a story in 60 seconds or less.
(ASIDE: For the record, my all-time favorite car commercial is below. And if you watch any of these videos, watch this one from Volkswagen:)
Volkswagen has several marketing messages: Family fun, as shown by the above commercial; and safety for families. However the most well-known “family safe car” is probably Subaru.
SUBARU is for families
I can always spot a Subaru commercial. From the music to the dogs and kids, they feature people enjoying the outdoors, dogs driving cars as a spoof, and a child growing up to take over the family car.
Subaru targets active families who want a reliable, eco-friendly, long-lasting car that can go everywhere and can carry a lot of gear. One of their commercials is below:
What comes to mind when YOU think of Subaru?
Now, what do you think of when I say, “Dodge Trucks?”
DODGE is for tough guys
Do you picture a rugged man working outdoors? I do. Dodge targets men who want to haul big loads in the truck bed. Or who need to pull heavy trailers. Doing such things requires a powerful engine and that’s what Dodge spends a lot of time discussing.
Confession: my family owns two Dodge trucks. I might be a bit biased. I’ve watched these trucks stand up to lots of hard use. And although I don’t enjoy their commercials like I do Subaru commercials, my husband won’t buy anything else to haul his equipment.
You might be thinking that these commercials are all from big companies with lots of money. You’d be right. And you can learn from their success – even if you don’t have a huge marketing budget.
The following, however, is a skillful use of storytelling from a medium-size company:
LES SCHWAB is for people with car trouble
In case you’re not familiar with this company, Les Schwab is a medium-size tire store that started in Oregon in 1952. They expanded from a single store to over 400 stores in the Northwestern United States. For their marketing they use customer stories – positive experiences their customers have had with a store. They put “bobble” heads with the likeness of the customer and quickly tell their story.
YOU are known for . . .
No matter the size of your company, you can use these same principles when talking to people about what you do.
It’s a Simple 3-Step Process:
- List all the things you want to be known for.
- Pick ONE.
- Talk about it all the time. (And tie everything else into this ONE attribute.)
This process is simple, but not easy. This is because you’re choosing your uniqueness.
Most companies talk about several things. This waters down their messages. Subuaru, Dodge, and Les Schwab are each known for one thing.
And that makes their overall marketing more powerful.
Although I love the Volkswagen commercial I shared, their branding is not as effective as Subaru or Dodge. This is because they’ve chosen more than one branding message.
You want only ONE main message. Then, when that attribute is mentioned, your company comes to mind.
Our example: Jennifer & Julie, of Hero Marketing Tools, are marketing sidekicks. They extend the reach of your marcom department so you can be the hero.
Aren’t quite sure where to start with determining your uniqueness?
Hint: Ask your customers.
Or better yet – have Julie ask them for you. Read this article to see why it’s sometimes better to have an outside professional talk with your customers about your uniqueness factor.