Have you ever had this happen? You call a customer service line at some big company with a problem. And a miracle happens: you get some wonderful person on the line who says to you something like “I’m not supposed to do this but…” and with that phrase you realize that something unique and memorable just happened. You are someone for whom a rule has been broken. You have been singled out as someone who is special. I would suggest that it works the same with what many would consider to be the “rules of advertising.”
Ad agency creative people love to extol the virtues of rule breaking. They’ll tell you about how breaking the rules is the only way to make an impact on customers. I can’t say that I disagree totally. If the rules you are breaking are things like “always show people with big toothy smiles, playing cards or dice,” then yes, these are rules ripe for breaking. If you don’t believe it, try this experiment: get a clipboard, and spend an afternoon at your local mall interviewing people who might be your gaming target, and ask them the following questions: tell me the name of a casino whose advertising you remember. Now tell me what do you remember about it? Don’t be surprised to learn that most people think casino ads are a blur of sameness and they can’t remember a single distinctive ad from a property, not even one that spends 100s of thousands each year to run advertising.
So if your rule is to always show the same sorts of things your competitor shows (if he does it, and his business is good, it must be working RIGHT?) I would say respectfully that your logic is wrong. You must break your rule — and start creating messaging that is unlike what your competitor is doing. Failure to break this rule will result in sending your customer out for an evening of gaming somewhere/anywhere. However, if you give them a reason to remember and resonate with your brand, they may decide that your place offers something different. If it’s a powerful enough reason, (and your operation lives up to some key customer service and experience promises) you may find that they become loyal guests.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 at 3:41 pm and is filed under marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.