“marketing is no longer about the products you make, but about the stories you tell” +seth godin

What would happen if a company would change the conversation to stop the soapbox preaching of features/benefits and start becoming a personal brand?  This happened at Dove.  They make soap.  Actually, they also make their competitors soap.  Their soap costs more.  For years they had spent millions of dollars to let the world know that their soap was superior in quality (it’s not).

One day, Dove stopped telling people how their product was superior (not entirely, but it took a back seat).  They did something that no one had done before: they told everyday women that they were beautiful.  They used average women in their advertising campaigns; they created videos to teach younger women of the dangers of trying to achieve unrealistic expectations of their bodies.  They revealed how photos of models are touched up and that the models on the covers of magazines are not realistic depictions of real women.

So, what did this achieve for Dove?  Did they help to differentiate themselves from Soap Company Brand X?  The Real Women campaign was a predominate factor in Dove’s brand valuation nearly doubling.  In less than 3 years, the company’s brand valuation went from 9 billion or 16 billion (not quite double, but when you’re talking in billions…what’s a few billion between friends?).

“We make your skin soft.” Vs. “We make young women feel better about themselves, so they grow up to be strong and healthy”. How do you even compete against that?

This is the next generation of marketing and advertising.  Choose your story wisely, make sure that your message resonates with your core demographics, make sure that your using the right medium to deliver the message, and you had better set metrics to make sure that you’re achieving your goals.

And if you need someone to help you figure this whole thing out…send me an email, I’d be happy to help your team!

Penny Ohlmann Neimann

The Ohlmann Group has a rich history that began in Dayton, Ohio in 1949, where the agency was founded as Penny and Penny by Bob Penny and his wife Jean. In 1964, Walter Ohlmann joined the firm. Ralph Neiman came on in 1969 and the firm became Penny/Ohlmann/Neiman. In 2011, P/O/N was renamed The Ohlmann Group to better reflect the agency's ongoing evolution and collaborative nature.

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