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value“To explain. To persuade. To sell.” These phrases are all common in any definition of the “value proposition.” The world has changed Kemosabe, from baby boomers to millennials, the conversation has to change, too. (more…)

USP1The Unique Selling Proposition was the golden rule of advertising for decades, and no matter how much lip service is given to the value proposition and other strategies, the mindset of the USP is still there. It’s time to lay it to rest.
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I took a quick, very unscientific survey recently. It was a one question survey: When you think of Walmart, do you think of innovation? 100% of the answers were the same… “no”. Walmart is just a big ol’ store with lots of stuff at low prices. No innovation, right? Think again.

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There’s an unwritten rule in every industry that says “We all go to market the same way.” It’s a dumb rule and I’ve been preaching against it for 35 years. I wish I could say I wrote the book on the subject, but Marty Neumeier beat me to it. More on that in a moment. (more…)

When I discuss Marketing Innovation, one-on-one or with a group of 250, I always tell the story of the drill bit. It goes like this: You walk into Lowe’s to get a half inch drill bit. Six dollars later, you have your drill bit. But you didn’t go to Lowe’s because you wanted to add to your drill bit collection. You went because you wanted a half inch hole. It’s the hole that was worth $6. The bit was just a means to an end. (more…)

problem-solution2

Last month, we conducted a ReVision for a Cleveland company that came to us with a serious problem. In our PreView, we worked through the problem and, in less than an hour, we had two very good solutions. We all felt good about both options and resolved to carry those into the ReVision session the next day. Clearly, it was going to be a short session. After all, we had solved the problem, right? READ MORE

Today, we take a break from Marketing concepts, Innovation principles, and Business discussions to learn a lesson from a six year old.

poppi

A couple of months ago, I introduced you to Poppi, our six year old YorkiePoo. Today, we say goodbye to Poppi. We lost our little Poppi dog last week in one of those freak accidents that makes you wonder how the earth manages to turn on its axis and how we keep from spinning off into space. It was sudden, it was tragic, and it made us want to pause the world. (more…)

Last Saturday, I jumped in the truck, turned on the radio, and there he was… the local DJ with the used car dealer urging me to “Come on down right now for free pizza, a chance to spin the wheel, and drive away in a certified preowned, like-new car with zero down and no interest… ” I had to laugh.


“Hurry on down!!!!!”

You know the routine. You’ve heard it. Maybe you even responded to it. But did you really buy a car because there was free pizza? Did you really believe today’s offer was  a “once in a lifetime” deal?

No. You bought the car because you needed a car and you found the car you liked at the price you found reasonable. The advertising just happened to connect with you at the same time you had a need or interest.


Advertising is NOT Selling. It’s communication.

buyThis is where so many marketers get lost. They confuse communication with selling and adopt a “used car salesman” approach to their communication. It’s dangerous territory. When you communicate “buy now”… especially on a major purchase… you diminish the value of your product or service and, more importantly, you insult your potential customer.


The message IS the brand.

brand2To start with, people are not stupid. If you assume they are, you will treat them that way and they will know it. On the other hand, if you treat them with respect, they will respond with respect. Your message IS your brand, so choose your message carefully. You don’t have to tell people to “buy now”, “call today” or “apply now”. The more you do, the more you act like a commodity. The more you act like a commodity, the less respect your brand receives in the marketplace.

The used car salesman has an image because he acts like a used car salesman. Don’t be that guy.


Carney & Co and Marketing Innovation

learn-more-about-marketing-innovation-buttonWe use a powerful, unique ReVision™ process to uncover innovation, generate bigger ideas, and produce better results for our clients.
Learn more at www.carneyco.com.

 

but!When we ReVision a client, we start the day with a few simple rules that begin with “Leave your ‘buts’ at the door”. You know the “but” people. They follow every new idea with a “but”. “But we tried that.” “But we can’t afford that.” “But we’ve never done that before!” (more…)