The Australian Small Business Blog

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Advertising - Can We Live Without It?

Imagine you walked into a supermarket, and you recognised almost none of the brands. There was aisle after aisle of goods to purchase, and you had to stop to read every single packet to see whether you would like this cereal or those biscuits.

This could only occur if you had not been exposed to any advertising before you walked into the supermarket. In our current world, of course, that is impossible, as we grow up with advertising around all around us, but yet this has happened to me.

I have encountered this situation a number of times when I have shopped in a supermarket in another country. I had no exposure to the local advertising and was confronted by a large variety of brands which were literally foreign to me. I was overwhelmed by choice. A simple buying decision, which might have only taken me a few minutes at my local supermarket while I located my favourite brands of particular categories, was greatly extended while I tried to determine which of these new brands would satisfy my needs.

Without the advertising, I did not know what the benefits of each brand were. I couldn’t find out the ingredients without lengthy label examinations. In a number of cases I just opted for the cheapest because I didn’t want to waste more time.

This is an interesting experiment you can try if you are travelling internationally, and you are looking after yourself, rather than just living in a hotel where everything is provided. I believe you cannot understand a country if you have not done your weekly shopping in one of its supermarkets.

Without advertising, there would be no range. Most products would become commodities with no points of difference. There would be only the most basic features. There would be no niche products for special needs. We would be unaware of all the benefits. Prices would probably be higher as there would be no competition.

So when your product is discovered on a store shelf, or on your website, can your buyers readily determine the benefits your product provides and for whom and your points of difference? Is your offer clear, and do you have a call to action? Ideally when they have found your product, they will have already been exposed to your advertising, so the final decision is quick and painless unlike the confusing frustrating ones I had to make without the benefit of advertising.

Enjoy this wonderful paean to Advertising – but a strong language warning at around second 6, after which all is ok and very funny.

May Your Business Be - As You Plan It.

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success.

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1 comment :

cyn said...

A large part of my role is to create brand semantics on products/product packaging, and yes, I've also seen the weird and wonderful ways overseas manufacturers express their culturally different semantics. Upmost importance should ALWAYS be placed on how one would see YOUR brand in what amounts to MILLISECONDS! Don't ever rely on the words...think elemental: colours, shapes, emotions. Another interesting factor is that most companies incorrectly target markets...and miss opportunity due to the initial incorrect focus on the wrong demographic. Beware of this! The advertising I can live without is those used by financial institutions (as I found today).. you can spend days researching your actual needs as there is more fine print than regular print, and pictures of happy people with their new home on the websites dont induce my happiness also!....if it helps anyone today I found what looks like the 'Choice' of money management ....fantastically objective - it was one place that needed no red and yellow to induce any type of 'product hunger'! All hail the comparison sites, and the effective, attractive use of known branding psychology. A great post, its a subject close to my heart (and income!) - thanks!


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