TRIBUTE TO THOSE WHO GAVE (AND GIVE) THEIR LIVES

Today is Memorial Day. It’s a very special day. Memorial Day does not just mark a holiday weekend or the unofficial start of summer. It is a time when we remember and honor military personnel who sacrificed with their lives that we might enjoy life, freedom, and a world of lasting peace—people like my Grand […]

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THE TOP TEN TARGETING BLUNDERS

“The goal isn’t to do business with people who need what you make; the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”  Simon Sinek,  popular “TED” video More and more we are convinced that the most common and costliest brand positioning blunders occur in targeting.  Most common because way too many in senior […]

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BOOKS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Last Thursday, 23 April, was World Book Day. We hope you took notice. It’s the day to recognize and promote the benefit of reading books. World Book Day is organized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). The date is rather auspicious. It marks the day that several prominent authors were either born […]

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POSITIONING FOR PRODUCTIVITY

“So, remember that rising productivity means getting more                          output for less input.”  (Anonymous) “It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease.  Hack away at                          the unessential.”  (Bruce Lee) “The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”                          (Bruce Lee) There’s an old chestnut in some companies—especially popular among the company’s operations folks—that the term “marketing productivity” […]

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THE BRAND IDEA

Contrary to what you may have learned in school, positioning is the most important “P” in marketing. It should not be treated as a subset of promotion. To create a competitive positioning strategy, it must reflect your aspirations for the brand and its relationship to target customers within the context of market competitors. The Brand […]

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J&J FACES THE BIGGEST MARKETING CONUNDRUM YET

Conundrum, noun. A confusing and difficult problem or question.  The general public tends to give Johnson & Johnson a lot of much-deserved credit—for well over a hundred years’ history of manufacturing superior-performing, totally safe, and (best of all) highly trusted products.  And a good many blue-chip companies—including competitors—also give J&J high marks, even kudos, both for persistently […]

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PUT KEY COPY WORDS TO WORK FOR MORE COMPELLING MESSAGING

We’ve recently begun work for a client in a therapeutic category where the right treatment can mean the difference between prolonging life or dying prematurely. As we do with every assignment, we review the client’s and their competitors’ messaging. In this case, there are 14 brands (including therapies with multiple brands) and 26 ads—14 targeted […]

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GET THE WORDS RIGHT…TO GET THE WORK RIGHT

“You should think of each word in the Creative Brief as similar to each word in a poem:  consciously and carefully chosen, and always conveying precision of meaning.” Former Johnson & Johnson CMO and Consumer Products Division Head It sometimes seems like we have been writing all of our lives.  While our weekly DISPATCHES are now in […]

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HOW TO JUDGE SUPER BOWL LV ADS (OR, FOR THAT MATTER, ANY ADVERTISING—INCLUDING YOUR OWN)

This DISPATCHES’ article is an annual update to remind all marketers of the professional way to assess advertising. Super Bowl LV will kick-off on Sunday, 7 February, to decide the champion for the NFL’s 2020 season. It pits the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led by veteran Quarterback (QB) Tom Brady against last year’s SB champions, the […]

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AT P&G, THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS “BACK” TO BASICS

We’ve never been shy about recalling our earliest days as marketers working for Procter & Gamble.  Our longtime readers know only too well the many proven principles, quality processes, and best practices that we espouse–and attribute to our P&G training, experiences, and successes.  Though we haven’t been under their employ for well over forty years, we continue […]

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