Wednesday, 31 March 2010

The REAL 'So What' of functional advertising what's functional advertising....advertising that sells a product based on a functional benefit for its users. Unlike a Louis Vuitton bag that offers to satisfy mostly psychological needs. These products usually sell themselves on performance. Nike shoes. Sony. (When you lose your 'mojo' you drop from satisfying psychological needs to functional needs...its true, Sony.)

Now whats the REAL 'so what'?

The story of advertising usually ends with, buy me because i can do something better than the competition...or buy me because i can save you money or time.

This works when competition is weak. Once competition strengthens, and everyone offers a way to save money or time, whats the distinction?

And here is where the REAL 'So what?' becomes relevant. This is based on the core consumer need that saving money or time satisfies.

Brands need to understand this core need for its core segment. For example, a mother may like to save time so she spends more of it with her family...or on herself. Does your advertising capture this for the kind of mother you are targeting?

Or that a father would like to save money to buy a golf set or to put his children through a better college. Does your consumer understanding capture this about your target?

Nike does a fabulous job of understanding the 'so what'....we make great shoes, buts that not the reason you buy us. You buy us because we understand you want to compete and win...and mostly you are competing against yourself. We can help you raise the bar. That is what they help the consumers with.

Thats the real brand benefit that needs to be answered. The REAL 'so what'.

Ritu and Venkat

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