Nobody needs advertising. Woe betides the brands whose managers place sole responsibility on advertising agencies to build sales. Pick up a newspaper. Retail and real-estate brands clamour for attention with full-page spreads cluttered with discounts and offers.
Why is advertising today aimed at short-term profits? It never builds a brand, and never brings in long-term, sustained and growing profits.
And everyone is more than happy riding the wave. From consumers with ever-increasing buying power to fly-by-night advertising executives to newspapers selling advertising space at over-inflated prices to brand owners with over-inflated egos. It’s a vicious circle with the blame resting on no particular group in particular.
Case Study: Ever heard of Vikram Chatwal? Popular from the great India wedding spanning three cities, guests flown in private jets. Bill Clinton toasting the couple for free. Also a millionaire hotelier. Seen his website? Until recently, their website was a horrible looking flash site. Imagine the number of agencies who would have sat across the table trying to sell the importance of building a brand new website, of course for a very large fee. The Chatwals were making millions before all this. They had a great product with great service and that was all it took.
It’s a simple, but oft forgotten rule. If it’s good it’ll sell. If it’s not it won’t. Most managers are convinced advertising is the key to selling. So they expect immediate results on horrible ads which they browbeat their agencies into doing. They never stop and think. “Before I let Times of India rob me in four colour, am I doing something that will make me look good?”
That’s all advertising can do. Make people say “Hey, those guys look good. I’ll check it out.” You have to do a whole lot of other things to finally sell your brand. And advertising can’t help you out with that. Sure they’ll say they can. Don’t listen. You’re much better at selling your brand than a bunch of over-worked yuppies who are sleeping with ten other brands at the same time.