Even though some of our core businesses at Arcas Advertising are advertising and branding – traditional or online – there is an old adage that we still uphold as one of the best strategies for business success: “The best advertising is a great product or service.”
Or, as advertising legend Bill Bernbach – one of the three founders of the international advertising agency DDB – so eloquently said, “Advertising doesn’t create a product advantage. It can only convey it.”
Consumers buy things, not ads
From new and more powerful suction technology vacuums by Dyson to user-friendly and cost-effective movie and music downloads from Apple’s iTunes, great products and services are what consumers seek or desire. In most cases, the ads for these industry brand icons simply communicate the benefits of the products to their respective audiences, which ideally facilitates the next phase of post-purchase advertising: good old-fashion word-of-mouth (WOM).
Amazing cinnamon buns equals great Regina advertising
An example is a small downtown vegetarian café in Regina, Saskatchewan. The Green Spot has this word-of-mouth and ‘the best ad is a great product’ thing down pat.
Every Wednesday and Saturday (and those two days only), this local eatery whips up the best cinnamon buns many have ever experienced. Morning lineups are long as busy downtown workers clamour to grab a cinnamon bun – or perhaps a dozen – for themselves and their co-workers.
Tasty. Warm. Gooey. These delectable 4 x 4 inch squares of heaven are gobbled up by the Regina business crowd before tales of the cinnamon bun conquest are shared via word-of-mouth – and social media (quite possibly the most scalable source of WOM testimonials!)
Time limited marketing creates greater demand
We can’t forget that the ‘available two days only’ policy for these buns – intentional or not – creates all that much more brand buzz and free unpaid advertising. I’m certain they could make these seven days a week and reap great profits, at least for awhile.
Staying the course of a twice a week offering is likely based on production resources, but also maybe a strategic way to keep the cinnamon bun ‘vibe’ alive – a limited demand to help promote and create additional store traffic and new/current customer consideration of their other food offerings (which are also of the most tasty variety.) The Green Spot also serves 100 per cent certified Jamaican Blue Mountain and Hawaiian Kona beans. Nothing goes as good with a heavenly cinnamon bun like a great cup of coffee made from great beans.
Consider great brands and their lack of advertising
I have always marveled at the Lulelemon brand and its lack of noticeable advertising. The same applies for Starbucks – for years it succeeded only on publicity and visible store location strategies before any advent of mass ad campaigns. Each of these brands’ growth and successes were built on great products and services.
In my marketing conference and advertising speaking engagements, I often highlight my list of standout brands that have done a terrific job of creating legendary branding and marketing of their products and services. One only needs to think of Harley Davidson, 3M Sticky Notes, Disney, In-N-Out Burger or WestJet to quickly realize how those brands and their amazing, unique product/service offerings have helped them achieve greatness – well before the need or want of mass advertising.
Tweet me at @mike_go_arcas – or our agency @Arcas_Ad – and let us know what brands you consider to have word-of-mouth worthy products and services – especially local brands in Regina or Saskatchewan. We admire all local business success stories and we’d love to hear from you!