GETTING TO THE BIG IDEA
(This Marketing Matters article is an excerpt from Chapter 11, Lack of Ideas is the Mark or a Dull brand, of my most recent book, AVOIDING CRITICAL MARKETING ERRORS: How to Go from Dumb to Smart Marketing.)
A BIG idea is one that generates a significant impact in the marketplace.
If your brand does not contain a BIG idea, it will pass like a ship in a moonless, overcast night, with its lights out.
Far too many brands are, well, dull. As a result, they do not attract, engage, or create loyalty with their intended target customers.
The way to break out of dullness is to create BIG, juicy ideas. Ideas make the world go around. They inspire, provoke, engage, refresh, motivate, and activate potential target customers to purchase, prescribe, use, recommend, and prefer your brand. Importantly, they drive incremental line-of-sight sales and fuel a healthy ROI.
If there are no ideas, you will fail to generate strong growth and a positive ROI, if any at all. A paucity of ideas marks a lackluster and rather dull brand, one headed for obscurity as more creative competitors nibble away at, or leap ahead of, your brand.
Let’s be clear; the use of digital devices for marketing is not an idea. It’s a vehicle or marketing mix element. The use of social media is not an idea. It, too, is a marketing mix element. The idea is what you do with digital, social media, or, for that matter, any marketing mix element and device that generates a favorable sales impact and ROI in the market.
When BDNI began instructing marketers nearly 30-years ago regarding how they could make their marketing and advertising matter more, one of the participants kept raising the question, “When are we getting to the BIG idea?” Back then, I believed it was a judgment of relative value as one idea proves to be more fruitful than another. There are so-called ideas, and then there are really big, like in huge, ideas. But I’ve come to learn that’s part of it.
There’s more to it, much more. Chances are that if you are hunting for ideas (and you should be!), you’re searching for a BIG idea. After all, nobody wants little ideas. Even small brands and companies want and need BIG ideas.
Why Is It Important?
A BIG idea can make the difference between success, mediocrity, and failure. It’s that important! As I’ve repeatedly proclaimed, we live in an “age of abundance and sameness.” There are a plethora of products in virtually every category that do the same things in the same ways and produce comparable results.
Most of us cannot win by employing cheaper pricing than our competition. Moreover, that’s a downward spiral into oblivion. Nor can we afford to win by out-muscling our competitors (such as putting more feet on the street, or pumping up our marketing budgets). In fact, it is highly likely that your company has been “streamlining,” cutting people and/or marketing support funding to make bottom-line profit targets. And, superior execution is a dream realized by so very few brands and companies.
So, we need to differentiate our offering from our competition. One fundamental yet significant way we do this is with the development of a BIG idea. Generating and executing a BIG idea gives us more bang for our marketing support funding—dollars, euros, yuan, whatever it might be. It is about driving incremental sales and a highly favorable ROI. It’s about being able to leapfrog your current position and the competition. It’s about driving brand preference and winning and maintaining customers.
Accordingly, pursuing a BIG idea should be a priority. However, generating the proverbial “BIG idea” is easier said than done. Why? Many marketers, and their organizations, don’t know what a BIG idea is, even if it’s smacking them in the face. They haven’t established criteria for it. What’s more, they lack the ability to recognize one, particularly if it comes from someone or someplace else (NIH, “not invented here,” syndrome) and/or it’s so different from anything they, or competitors, have ever done. As such, they are more likely to kill a nascent BIG idea than embrace it.
Avoid being dull. Create BIG Ideas to animate your brand. Read AVOIDING CRITICAL MARKETING ERRORS: How to Go from Dumb to Smart Marketing. Avoid errors that undermine your and your organization’s ability to generate BIG Ideas. Additionally, discover what you can do to develop them and inspire your target customers. Learn more here: http://bdn-intl.com/avoiding-critical-marketing-errors
Peace and best wishes,