Brian Bloom | August 29, 2022
In my 40+-year career in marketing communications, I have fought against “too much!”
Don’t get me wrong. Some “too much” is a good thing. Too much money, too much time, too much fun and too many blessings, for example. Too many messages, however, is a big mistake.
I learned this by looking over my college roommate’s shoulder once. He was reading singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson’s book, The Point!, that accompanied the album of the same. On the pages I saw two travelers reach what appeared to be the entrance to the Pointless Forest. There they encountered the Pointless Man or the Pointed Man, depending on your point of view. Everything the travelers encountered, it seemed, came to a point. The message was if you have too many points, you have no point at all. You are simply pointless, which is not a good thing if you want to survive in the marketplace.
Too many points – or too much! – confuses the audience. They are soon no longer interested in your company, products or services. If consumers are no longer interested in you, they move to your competitors. Worst case scenario, your sales drop, possibly leading to the point of no return.
My point is, to avoid “too much!,” companies should limit their focus to the three things they do best. Here’s an example.
One of my clients wanted to reposition itself in the market. Decision makers were quietly adding new points, or messages, whenever the company would debut the latest technological advancements. Over time, the company moved away from sharing its brand story. They stopped telling people who they were. As a result, the company’s messaging became “pointless.”
We helped the organization rediscover itself and determine three key reasons why customers and prospects needed its products and services. Once the company focused on these points, it opened new sales opportunities.
In another instance, several Falls & Co. clients were planning to exhibit at a major industrial trade show. One of our clients was so excited about literally meeting people in person again they wanted to announce 10 new products.
We understood why they were excited about their “new babies.” But we had to remind them trade editors would meet with approximately 100 companies during the three days at the trade show. Knowing the editors would be barraged with new products and messages, we explained how only a few products had a chance to stand out in editors’ minds.
We asked our client to pick no more than three products to showcase. They would base their decision on why customers and prospects would be interested in those products more than any others. As a result, the client received substantial coverage and generated significant sales interest at the show.
I was working with a very talented and now retired creative director. He loved digging into the clients, their products and their culture. He developed edgy campaigns that grabbed prospects’ attention. He would get so wrapped up in the client’s business (which is a good thing), the creative director couldn’t help but develop more than a dozen concepts - and wanted to present them all.
When he did, he was often disappointed when the client picked his least favorite, and often weakest, concept. They simply had too much – “too much!” – from which to choose. Once we convinced the creative director to show only his three best concepts, he discovered how much his clients loved the results – and he did, too.
When you focus on the three things you do best – and you do them well – you increase your chances of success that much more, whether it’s finding the right positioning, promoting high-impact products or developing highly effective advertising campaigns to generate sales.
And isn’t that the point?
Struggling to fine-tune your point? Let Falls & Co. help. Check out all our available services.
Merry Pitchmas: Move Your Holiday Media Pitches to the Top of the 'Nice' List
Backlinks: Where SEO Strategy & PR Meet
How to Tell if Your Baby is Ugly: Why Market Research is Important
Brian Bloom is a senior vice president at Falls & Co. He has spent four decades counseling consumer, business-to-business and industrial clients on a wide range of issues from marketing communications, brand positioning, public relations, corporate communications and special events to crisis communications and environmental affairs. His strategic programs have helped companies turn their commodity products into preferred brands in aggressive markets.