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Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

The Answer Man

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Q: How important is brand identification, and promotion?

A: Identification is crucial to success. Sales promotions are based on "Where" & "When."

We may wonder sometimes why a company with huge brand identification even bothers to advertise.

But they do, and because they do, we can walk down any super market aisle and see their lion's share of counter facings. At the end of the aisle we may see an enormous display of Coca-Cola or Pepsi-Cola. It might take an Indian Guide to find some lesser known "Burp Soda."

The Daily Dunklin Democrat recently printed a feature story about two dozen colleges giving Bud Light some flack about dressing their beer cans in college colors. The college's complaint was that it encouraged underage drinking, and violated licensed trademarks.

Of course this was a promotion by Bud Light to coincide with another college football season. College kids themselves need little encouragement to drink beer, but the general public may spark with new interest when seeing the old school colors on their favorite brand.

Marketing people stay up late at night planning promotions that tie in with seasonal, or iconic happenings. "Where," and "When," are vitally important.

A Marketing Manager with a paper company came up with an idea for his school supply division producing a large count composition book that had a college's athletic logo on the front cover. It was for the retail trade.

Certain schools were selected for distribution in the Midwest, Southwest, and Deep South.

Sales were sparse in the Midwest. (The U. of Missouri had minimal sales.)

The Southwest did a little better, but the South bought these comp books like kids at a candy counter.

Alabama and Auburn clearly led the field, with Bama finally winning the checkered flag.

If you ever marvel at how good the Southeastern Conference football teams are, you might take a look at the fervor of their fans, which approaches mania!!

They simply care more, and expect more.

Once again, it's "Where," & "When" for promotional activity.

(It may be of interest that the only school refusing permission to use their logo was Notre Dame. The Irish were riding high in the football world at that time, and weren't peddling anything.)

A footnote to this brand identification phenomenon was when this same Marketing Manager picked up his phone one day, and on the other end of line was a lawyer representing the Coca-Cola Company.

It seems that within the paper company's school supply line was a design item composition book with artwork depicting advertising slogans. It was done in patches of the type young people were wearing on their shirts, jackets, and jeans.

One of these patches said, "The Pause That Refreshes."

Nice guy, the lawyer, but his basic premise was, "No Way, Jose."

"The Pause That Refreshes" is exclusive to the Coca Cola Company, licensed and protected by law.

"How much inventory do you have on this product," the nice lawyer asked.

Although a new manufacturing run had been ordered, the inventory at this time was fortuitously low. Learning this - and glowing with Christian Charity - the lawyer waived aside the need for a Comp Book Bonfire, and allowed the inventory to be sold off.

A decision was to be made:

Whether to drop a mildly successful item; or continue producing it, and face the legal department of the Coca-Cola Company.

It was a no-brainer.

The Answer man
The Answer Man