Monday, 15 September 2014

Nobody is buying!

You have an innovative product, fantastic service and an award winning business.

The crowds should be all over you, clamouring to buy. Yet you are not attracting enough business to even cover your costs. 


A lot of businesses think a good product alone is all that is needed. How many times have you heard, 'Build it and they will come'? Well, this is a line from popular entertainment, not the sage business advice that it is thought to be.

What you have to do is 'sell your business'. If your potential customers do not know who you are, what you do or where they can find you, how do you expect them to buy from you.

In short if you are not doing anything to advertise your business, how do you expect to be in business? Passing trade, word of mouth etc., are all largely redundant in this day and age. For passing trade, you have to place yourself where someone is likely to pass. You have to have an enticing display to attract the potential customer who is outside to come inside. These days this is your Webverts and SEO. The videos and images on your website have become your shop front and store.

Word of mouth and recommendations do not take place over the garden fence any more. They happen in social media. If you do not have an online presence and do something to justify this, how can your satisfied customers refer their social circle to you?

The art of advertising has not changed, only the media we use and the pace at which we work has. It is still all about attracting customers to buy from you and not from someone else. To do that we have to give them the reasons they need to make that choice.

We have to change, 
an interest into a like
a like into a desire
the desire into a want
and the want into a need.

An example

At one time hand made axes were the low end of the market. The logging industry needed high volumes of a consistent quality that the small hand forges could not produce, so they moved to axes made industrially.

Today that situation has changed there is no real need for axes anymore. The logging industry has been mechanised and loggers work from the comfort of an air-conditioned cab.

Yet today, axes are selling at premium prices! Not just any axe but hand made axes from the small forges that a few decades ago were forced to find other product lines because they could not compete.
 Industrially produced axes are now retailing for around $20 -$60 hand made axes $200 to $600 each!

So what changed?

Making logging and axe skills into a sport generated the interest, rebranding small axes and hatchets as camping and outdoor survival tools took care of the rest.

This is called associative or aspirational advertising. In this case the foundries associated their axes with a life style to which people could aspire. Even if you could not give it all up and go live in the high woods. That axe becomes a promise to yourself, that one day, even if only for a few weeks, you could live your dream of a simpler life.

Tricky? No, just an understanding of human nature and how purchasing decisions are made. That is what advertising is, letting people know what you have for sale. Then giving them the reasons why they should buy from you rather than from another.

Gavin Bryan-Tansley Owner Vid-FX+ Advertising

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Getting it right

Getting it wrong could cost you more than just money.

Creating commercial advertising requires creative skills that will set the advert apart from surrounding content. 

Thinking outside the box to create advertisements that are true to the brand, as well as selling a product. Yet different enough to stand out is one thing. To remain within the law and the codes of practice are another. What seems such a good idea in the pub or the closed environment of the office, often falls flat when it reaches a dispassionate audience.

A recent advert, a very clever spoof of a popular TV program, Animal Hospital. Received no less than 250 complaints about the association of a commercial product with animal cruelty. While the advert was legal in all aspects, it still caused offence. These errors in judgement could become obvious if it is test marketed before release. The footage could then possibly be reused with a slight change of emphasis or re-editied to change the offending scenes. 

Regrettably this is a stage often overlooked or dismissed as an unnecessary expense by far to many advertisers. The cost of testing is often far less than the costs associated with having your adverts withdrawn. 

The advantages of using a professional agency is that they deal with these kind of issues all the time. They also kept up to date with various trends and topical issues through their professional associations and trade press. They can help in avoiding these situations by bringing years or decades of commercial experience to your advertising.

Gavin Bryan-Tansley Owner Vid-FX+

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