Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Boast About Underdog Determination

Decades ago, Avis Rent A Car System unveiled a series of ads that the trade journal Advertising Age later called one of the top ten campaigns of the 20th century. The theme of the ads: “We’re number 2 in rent a cars behind Hertz, so we try harder.”
     More recently, researchers at Harvard University, Simmons College, and Boston College found that the underdog’s appeal to consumers endures. Among other things, when a choice of chocolate bar brands was offered to the study participants, the brand positioned as the underdog was selected about 70% of the time.
     The researchers say the power of the come-from-behind fits well with the distinctively American stories of successful immigrants and of second chances met with passionate determination. Supporting this argument, it’s true that the study participants in the U.S. were more influenced than were those in Singapore by the underdog positioning. But even those in Singapore were affected. After all, every consumer in the world has felt they’re behind the leader in something at one time or another, so every consumer cheers for others in that position.
     Your retail store portrays a brand image that is as important to your success as the candy bar brand image is to the candy bar manufacturer. In your advertising, your coaching of employees, and your staff’s personal selling with customers, boast about having the determination of an underdog who is intent on being the best. For instance, share with employees and customers any stories of humble beginnings of your retail business and demonstrate the respect for customers and fellow employees that is associated with humility.
     However, do all this with care. At the same time that people root for the underdog, employees and consumers also like to associate with winners. The Avis campaign was profitable because the fundamental message was, “We’re not settling for being number 2. We’re striving to be number 1, and if we are number 1, we’ll be so accustomed to striving that we won’t be pulling back at all on our passionate determination to serving you.”

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more:
Brag About Your Retailing Humility
Show Respect in Front of Customers

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