marketing consultant, Memorability, staying current, Strong Ad Creative, Target Marketing

It’s All in the “Framily”

I’ve posted about this on my Facebook page before.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I actually really enjoy the Sprint framily ads and the very diverse and interesting group that makes up the Frobinson family. Maybe it’s because I was a French major undergraduate and I love to hear the angelic daughter speak French while bluebirds swarm around her head, or I love to hear the Gordon character correct the other framily members that his name is pronounced “Gordin”, but the ads don’t become old or tiresome to me no matter how many times I see them.  I also enjoy it whenever a new ad is added to the campaign because I enjoy seeing what trouble or mischief the family is up to.

I did some research on the history and thinking behind the campaign, and learned that Sprint launched the campaign because its overseas parent company had had great success with a similar campaign in their neck of the woods.  A big danger with very creative ad campaigns is that viewers can get so caught up in the creative message or visual that they don’t even know what brand, product, or service the ad is promoting, but I don’t think this is a concern for the framily ads. The unique and very different framily members reinforce Sprint’s message that a framily doesn’t have to be a homogeneous group of individuals because 1) a framily group can consist of both friends and family and 2) the average American family is now more than ever likely to be culturally and ethnicity diverse for a variety of reasons, including the fact that there are now so many “combined” families. The ads speak to almost everyone, and therefore, should have an impact on a larger target audience.

I believe the ads are very memorable, effective, and will and do cause sales growth for Sprint.  A large organization like Sprint is sure to have lots of in-house and out-of-house marketing gurus monitoring these campaigns and if they weren’t effective, they wouldn’t continue to run them or add new ads (creative) to the campaign mix.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the ads.

competitive advantage, differentiation, marketing consultant

Why It Literally Pays To Be Different

I recently consulted with a small business that was having difficulty maintaining a steady stream of customers and revenues.  There is a very crowded marketplace for this business’ services, i.e., many other businesses offer very similar services in the same geography and some are franchises of much larger chains, and therefore, likely have access to marketing activities available through their central organization/office.

After assessing this small business’ competition — something I do as part of my standard pre-work for a conversation with any organization looking for assistance with their marketing — I pointed out to this small business owner that, if they had any chance of succeeding at all in their over-crowded marketplace, they would really need to identify what differentiates them from their competitors, particularly since they did not want their differentiator to be lower/better pricing than their competitors. Then, they would need to market and create awareness of that difference.

A caution and a challenge regarding identifying and promoting your difference from competitors — your differentiating attributes must be something your target audience values, and if you’re the high-cost provider of a product and service, then, in addition, your target audience has to value those attributes significantly enough to be willing to pay extra for those services.

I attended a Webinar this week on how to grow a successful consulting practice. While as a marketing professional, I have spent countless hours trying to identify, and then figure out how to promote, program/product/service differences for a variety of organizations in a variety of industries, the Webinar was a good reinforcement that as a consultant I need to heed the same advice I give my clients. I’ve got to offer something unique and different from all the other management consultants out there.  Fortunately, I launched my business with that awareness and understanding. You can learn more about why I view my organization to be different from my competitors by reading Results’ first newsletter.

My husband and I are big fans of Ray Davies of Kinks’ fame and of his song “I’m Not Like Everybody Else“. There are many benefits to not being like everybody else, and for a small business owner they can be huge financial ones, as long as not being like everybody else and the reasons for it, are favorably viewed by your target audience.