The greatest commercials I have ever seen that back up all I have ever taught in my seminars are still running.
The “Brand Power" commercial campaign is the best example of adapting "perception is reality" to the current economy I have ever seen and I wish I had a way to find out how well it’s working from their ad agency (though it must be working since they started it in November and it’s still running now).
If you don’t know what I am talking about it’s a series of “cheesy” commercials with all these little ovals in the background that say “Brand Power” – but they look like the “bargain” products. The entire “look” is saying “cheap” and “bargain” but they are all from name brands owned by the same corporation such as Suda-Fed and Vi-Active and several other “name" brands. The announcer and the “working” photos all describe how much better the “brand names” work than the “store brands” but the perception of the ad is inexpensive and better value.
It’s the ultimate example of my teaching on "perception” in that everything you perceive about the commercial subconsciously is that this is a “bargain” product; but everything your ears are hearing is how much better value the “name brand” products are. They are trying to overcome the bad economy (which has to be hurting the expensive “name brands” ) by pointing out that the name brands are really a better value while the “cheap” look of the commercial production conveys inexpensive to the subconscious.
You might be thinking “What has this got to do with the pavement business?”
It’s a perfect example of how basic marketing and advertising principles stay the same. People always react the same way to the same stimulus -- but this campaign has “adapted” to the bad economy and you should too. Notice that campaign never says their products are cheaper but they get your attention with that perception then go on to explain why their products offer the best value; and perceived value is what people buy regardless of the product or service and the state of the economy.
The point is you might need to “push” your NPCA membership because it offers more “value” as well as changing other marketing and experimenting with different ideas to still get a profitable price for quality work and the customers are happy because of the value they received.
It’s the hardest part of the pavement business. The work on the pavement is the easy part. The hard part is the "brainwork" of figuring out how to adapt your marketing and sales to convey the perception of value in spite of the bad economy.
Now is the time to experiment before the season gets into full swing. Develop some ideas on how to create the reality of perception for your company and services -- you might have to try multiple approaches in small campaigns that can easily be quantified by how often the phone rings or how your web site traffic or e-mail requests for info pick up. If of one approach works better than the other ask the customer why he contacted you -- then take the parts that worked and combine them into a marketing campaign that when the season hits will keep your phone ringing and your profit margin and quality the best -- because THE CUSTOMER IS HAPPY RECEIVING THE Reality they Perceived as the Best VALUE”.
This article furnished by the National Pavement Contractor's Association's Don Turner, who has been a speaker at National Pavement Expo and NPE West and is now a consultant to the industry. For more about NPCA and its benefits visit www.PavementPro.com.