If you have worked in direct marketing, then you have seen the Logo Cops in larger organizations destroy promising direct marketing campaigns.
You know the drill.
You spend talent and money creating a great direct mail package with a strong offer. Your direct mail format cuts through the clutter by looking different. The format, though sometimes purposely unattractive aesthetically, is a proven winner. The offer meets all branding requirements by not cheapening the company's products for a one shot sale.
But the Logo Cops still manage to kill winning direct mail and creative executions in other media.
Here’s an example.
Logo cops often want to typeset the letter and follow all graphics requirements as laid out in the company's graphics manual. This is a big no-no for direct mail response.
They further modify the outer envelope to make sure all recipients see a consistent "look and feel" of all company messages. They eliminate critical teaser copy for the same reason. (The list of such stupid changes for the sake of "branding" goes on endlessly).
The Logo Cops just managed to convert a probable winning direct mail package into a sure looser.
All marketers take heed. Branding the company and its products goes far beyond the literal interpretation or focus on "look and feel" found in the company's graphics manual. Expounding on this concept alone would require writing a book.
Suffice to say that we need not ask how the creative execution supports the brand so much as how the brand supports sales. After all, the objective is not branding but selling.
I'd love to hear some of your stories related to how the misapplication of branding has hurt sales in your experience. Please share them by responding to this post.
True JUNK mail continues to persist in this economic environment.
Note the terrible letter below I just received from a local car dealer. (If you are a car dealer or car salesman, please stop abusing direct response advertising polluting direct mail with double meanings and outright lies.)
I can't figure out if it's caused by bad advertisers, unwary consumers, or both.
Sabaru promotion from local dealer
The highlighted area in the letter shown above reads as follows on the first line of the offer.
We will buy back your current vehicle at 100% of the ORIGINAL FACTORY BASE MSRP when your car was new.
Wow! Taken at face value, that seems pretty clear. If your car had an MSRP of $30,000, then your trade in value based on this comment is $30,000. The deception continues.
SUBARU OF PLANO has been provided by the National Automobile Dealers Association the original price for your vehicle. Any 1999-2007 vehicle traded during this event will receive this offer. Obviously your vehicle must be in safe operating condition, with normal wear and tear & free of paint or collision work.
That last sentence above sounds like a warning. And sure enough it is. Finally we get the truth about the real "offer."
Adjustments will be made for mileage, excessive wear and tear and reconditioning costs.
Now the reader should know that this is a non-offer. They will simply give you the trade in value of your car since mileage is taken into account. It also leaves room for them to deduct costs for the vehicle's age since the title of the offer says it all. "100% trade value."
Let me ask you. After getting this in the mail, would you ever trust this dealer with your $20,000 plus for one of his cars?