An AdvertisingAge article by guest columnist Sally Abrahams ”What the Most Interesting Man in the World Can Teach Marketers” has definite parallels to many mature brands. She’s referring to the popular Dos Equis campaign of course. And it just happens that her husband could be his double. In a society and a genre (beer) that has long focused entirely on youth or sports, it’s refreshing to see a successful campaign run contrary to that idea.
She rightly states, “what makes The Most Interesting Man so appealing is his experience, knowledge and wisdom, all gained from living a long life. These positive qualities are acquired by aging, a concept that has had little value in the marketing world.”
The same is true of your brand. You can’t fake experience. The experience that your brand has in the marketplace has a value that can’t be replicated by newer companies. Your experience is what makes it interesting – and it is also a story that you need to tell. Without proper framing and storytelling, the most interesting man in the world could become just another grumpy old man story. Or even less appealing. Which do you want to spend time with?
A Cut Above
Consider the stories of John Deere and Kubota. Both are well-respected manufacturers of equipment for larger lawns and estates. However, they have very different brand stories and space in the market.
Because John Deere has a longer heritage in the US, it can leverage its history of reliability (“Nothing Runs like a Deere”) for as long as it continues to deliver on it. It can tell that story effectively and compelling. New entrants into that space such as Kubota have to take a different message in regards to reliability. They might certainly be reliable (likely are), but they have to be at least equal in that regard to the incumbent and better in other areas to be competitive. That can be a tall challenge. But mature doesn’t mean stagnant and certainly can’t in this case. Stagnant leads you down the road of Allis-Chalmers. They had a story. They didn’t tell it. The company became a veritable shell of its former self.
Mature brands have an advantage in that they already have a story. They don’t have to fabricate it out of thin air. They do have to be authentic in framing it. They do, however, have to tell their story well. Because that’s what is most interesting.
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This article was originally posted on the Wilson Blog on March 21, 2014, by Devin
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