IS SHOCK AND AWE PUBLICITY A VIABLE BRANDING STRATEGY?

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In the heyday of the Internet (late 90s) there was a company whose CEO did a web conference in his underwear. I don’t recall the specific company but I most certainly remember the instance. This “stunt” did effectively leverage the “shock and awe” buzz factor to garner media attention, but I can’t really say it likely did much for the company’s reputation long-term.

I equate this type of publicity to the multitude of whiz-bang sensory-overload commercials we see today that bombard us with sometimes-outrageous audio/visual stimulation but typically do little to truly sell us on the value of the company’s products or services. I mean just because a one-legged monkey with a Mohawk is riding a skateboard really well on a ramp and drinking a certain type of soda, doesn’t mean I want to purchase the same soft drink. I can’t tell you how many times I hear someone talking about a really neat commercial but can’t remember the name of the company behind it. Is this effective branding? I don’t think so.

There is most certainly something to be said for creating an ad or marketing piece that people will remember, but it is equally as important to make sure the viewer’s recollection is one of your brand’s value, not just how entertaining your communication was. In my branding and communications strategy for my business I utilize a formula to ensure I’m on the right track in terms of effectively communicating value to my clients and prospects. Here are the simple rules I follow diligently in all of my sales and marketing communication:

My communication vehicle must…
Rule #1: differentiate my services
Rule #2: clearly state my services’ value
Rule #3: make sense to the layman
Rule #4: be consistent with my business’ image
Rule #5: not be considered offensive to ANYONE

By following these simple, straightforward rules, I ensure I communicate value and integrity to my clients and prospects at all times. To me, this is a recipe for branding success and I’m willing to leave “shock and awe” at the door if it violates even one of my five magic rules. My advice to you is that you do the same.

Thanks for listening.

By Kevin B. Levi
www.winningmessage.com
www.muckrakeronline.com

Comments

  1. Thanks Dan for including a link to my article on your site! Good looking and interesting site by the way!!

  2. nesh thompson says

    Good point Kevin. I remember some adverts for their imprint value but I don’t recall the product they sell, therefore if there is no association there can be ineffective marketing. The monkey skateboarder would in all likelihood stay in my memory, but due to it’s insanity rather than the fact it is drinking a particular drink.

  3. Good points as well Nesh. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Thank you Andrew!

  5. Great article.