Friday, October 23, 2015

Allow Me To Insist .... Or Why You Shouldn’t Fall In Love With Your Own Ideas.

Allow Me To Insist!
Have you ever had one of these nice friends who comes to you to tell you a very, very good joke? One of those really memorable jokes which make you laugh for hours without end until tears come out of your eyes?

I do know it has happened to me several times. In fact, I still clearly remember that one joke I heard when I was 10 or 12 years old, and everytime I am asked to tell a joke nowadays, I do start with that one. It was that good!

What would happen, for instance, if the same person tells you the very same joke a second time, and a third, even a fourth time?

Let me take a guess: As the time goes by and you hear the same joke time and time again, it’ll stop being so funny. You may laugh at it just out of commitment, but deep inside you're thinking: "My Goodness, how come this guy can’t tell me a different joke!!!"

And if the person who told you the joke doesn’t realize this, and simply comes up with the same story over and over again, being totally confident it will make you laugh every time, that person will be making the same mistake some companies commit with their advertising campaigns, when they fall in love with their own ideas, especially when these ideas are creative, original and have made a positive impact, and do not see when it stopped being effective.

A very creative and original idea, until it became tiresome.

This post’s title comes from a recognized advertising campaign. The first time I heard it, I thought it was a great piece: A fresh and different approach. A person who took so much care of having its customers enjoy a positive experience, that even says "let me insist" meaning he understood advertising could in many opportunities fall into the gray area of being taken as repetitive and tedious, therefore asked for permission before interrupting its customers’ life.

And the same feeling I had the following times I heard the same slogan: "Allow me to insist ..." I continued to have good feelings about it until I started listening to it every single day, everywhere: TV, radio... you know the story.

It then stopped being a nice proposal to become an annoying message in my ears, sadly associated with unpleasant feelings.

It was then that something which had been an original and creative idea, transformed into an unwelcome message. Now, every time I listen to it, I find it just intrusive and certainly unpleasant, and can’t help but wonder why the company using it on its advertisements hasn’t made the decision to switch to a new creative piece.

My feeling now is that such a campaign clearly shows someone, somewhere, thought the idea was sufficiently unique and original as to keep on drilling it into our heads, its audience’s heads, by all media available and for as long as possible.

Who came up with the thought: "The important thing is to have people talking about your brand, even if it’s trash talking"?

This phrase I've heard many times at different events and seminars I’ve attended: "The important thing is to have people talking about your brand, even if they’re saying bad things about it." 

It's like saying the important thing is just to be in your customers’ minds as many times as possible, regardless of emotions associated with your brand or company at the time.

Unfortunately it’s something I’ll never recommend you to do: Your brand should always be associated with positive emotions.

For me, from my very personal and professional point of view, there is a fine line between a positive and a negative experience, and it's such a thin line you should stay clear from it at all times.

Why? Many experts around the world recognize positive feelings and talking don’t get spread out as negative ones do, which spread like wildfire. Then, why would you want to get into such an space? How could you keep your coolness when your audience is raging against your brand?

How could you diminish the impact of a deep reputation crisis for your business, if you think the important thing is to have people talking about your brand, even if they are destroying it?

When you are deeply in love, you lose the ability to be objective in many things.

People say “love is blind”, and it truly is. That's why you must never (or should never) fall in love with your own ideas, no matter how original and creative they might be.

And the reason is precisely that the crush blocks your objectivity in many ways, so it could easily happen you remain deeply convinced your idea is great, long after it ceased being effective or properly received by its audience.

And even worst, long after this “wonderful” idea of yours has started to generate a negative feeling among its audience, not only about the message itself but about the brand as a whole.

May the love you feel for your own ideas, not blind you from recognizing market’s reality.

That’s why we must always keep on monitoring what’s happening around your message and its audience. It is not true (from my point of view) that it doesn’t matter whether people say good or bad things about your brand, because the only thing that matters is to have them talking about it and keep your brand on their heads.

It doesn’t work like that. In the worst case, your company and brand should always be associated with neutral feelings and never negative ones. It’s better to have your customers perceive your brand as “insipid”, rather than have them feeling a bitter and unpalatable taste.

Because when this happens, you’ll never know when your audience will want to give your brand a try again.

And that's not good, neither for you or your company.

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