While perusing a magazine, I came across this ad about ads from the America Advertising Federation. The ad states:
“The secret formula, revealed.”
“Advertising. The way great brands get to be great brands.”
Do you buy this? I think this is the equivalent of telling someone:
“Look. If you want to find your sole mate, pour all your efforts into the perfect MySpace page. Obsess about the right images and the ‘magical phrases’ that will set the hearts of the opposite sex on fire. Forget the fact that you may still live in your parent’s basement, you may be wanted in 3 counties, or your only claim to fame is the statue of Sponge Bob Square Pants you made of butter last year…a great MySpace page is how soul mates get to be soul mates.”
Images and words on a page or screen may support your brand, but it is not the straight and narrow path that leads to heavenly brands. Just like finding your soul mate, it’s the entire experience that counts.
Advertising is only the outward appearance while a brand is the inside-out experience. That is why it is called “the customer experience” and not “the customer appearance.”