Thanks to the Mimi Syndrome, many advertisers have squandered zillions of dollars without effect.
The Mimi Syndrome happens because We want to talk about Our product, the result of Our superior process where We have developed the latest greatest breakthrough that We Us Me Me Me Me Me Me Us We have seen in Our lifetime. The audience for this self-congratulation checks out early, because the 175-Years-of-Quality-Service-Solutions never even began to talk to the listener about the pebble in her shoe.
Our favorite example of this is the all-too-common plea “Can you make the logo bigger?” from clients baffled or indignant over the placement of their logo in an ad or a website or the side of their building. Whatever. It’s not big enough. Or loud enough. Or red enough.
Be practical: nobody wants to be sold to – it’s way more effective to draw attention to your product/service/idea, to get the customer excited, and only then say who brought you the message.
You might ask, “How do we get people to buy our product without talking about it? Isn’t that what advertising is?” Truth be told, no. It’s all about WIIFM, the personal benefit of What’s In It For Me.
A president of Revlon once said, “We don’t sell lipstick – we sell hope.” Create a hole in a customer’s life and demonstrate how only your product can fill it. Then sit back and let them come to you.
Put it in advertising terms: you want people to think "wow, that’s just what I need." If you accomplish that, they’ll fight to find out who you are, where they can find you, how soon they can buy, and other happy endings. If, however, you start with "look at us, we’re guys selling you something," they will tune you out in a blink, never to learn what makes your brand differentiated and desirable. They’re not waiting to hear from you. The logo, your identity, belongs at the end of the sequence, not the beginning.
How many times have you seen a local car dealership assault you with shouting, flashing signs and annoying animals and children? It’s a surefire recipe for hostility. These are bottom feeders, gleeful to suckerpunch frequent watchers of fringe programming.
Trying to entice customers by getting bigger and louder is like trying to hold on to your freaked-out-by-commitment boyfriend with more flowers, declarations of love and public back massages. It will only end in contempt and possibly a restraining order.
Don’t assault your customers. Seduce them. Speak to their needs. Make them want you. Need you. When they pull out their wallets, the all-night romp of consumer satisfaction will ensue.
Is this easy to do? Hell, no. It takes skill, experience, insight – most of all it takes objectivity. Our agency, for example, offers every client a huge strategic advantage – we’re not them. We start from the end user’s point of view, to learn what they want to hear – not what our client wants to say, or has always said.
As our friend Jack Trytten* says, Nobody wants to buy your product. People want to buy what your product does for them.
*Jack’s an insightful brand researcher. Learn more about him at insightdirection.com. Note the nifty logo design while you’re there. Not only is it our design, we refuse to make it bigger… His most recent book, The G Point, is relevant to this topic, and available an Amazon.
So what now? Our best advice – call us. Let’s sit down together to rethink what’s at the (non-rational, often surprising) root of your customers that makes them choose you. Men 21 to 39 don’t buy a specific brand of beer for its barley and hops. Beer is a badge product that satisfies the need to assert an identity in a social hierarchy. Link your product to positive emotional experiences. Make a credible offer to change your prospect’s life and you can stick your little-bitty logo upside down in a corner – you’ll still sell big.