The true Venn diagram of marketing

Everyone loves a Venn diagram don’t they ? I know I do. Venn diagrams were originally invented by John Venn in 1880. How many of us can expect to live on as a diagram for over a century.
The new truth marketing Venn diagram is the intersection between the three things that the consumer wants from a brand.

First the average consumer will ask for “value” (always first in any kind of consumer insight session). By which they usually mean value in its broadest sense – ie what they expect from a brand (the brand promise, functionality plus – even innovation if that’s a part of the promise) at an appropriate price. And value – often it its narrowest sense – is what everyone scrambles to give them. So in any category the punter will hear offers of “Cheaper” or “Added extras” or “Gift with purchase” – depending on the sector. Some sectors are rife with enticing claims about unmatchable prices that give the easily pleased the reassurance that they are not being ripped off, which satisfies all but the serious dedicated and time rich bargain hunter.

Once value is satisfied the consumer would like next to be entertained. Sometimes they’ll happily be so entertained by the gorgeousness of the advertising or the wit and humour of the brand that this is enough (for now). Enough even to overcome the reality of the service or the a possible over promise of the image. The golden days of British advertising when creative directors of ad agencies walked the streets of London like Homeric heroes were built on this consumer desire. “Entertain me” is less something they’ll say in consumer insight session but clearly is something that they respond to. But the consumer is more fickle in this respect than they used to be. They’ll talk about entertaining brands but often seek value elsewhere.

The third element is truth. The consumer is unlikely to ask unprompted for truth from a brand. Perhaps most have grown up in the world of spin. But when the truth leaks out it is very convincing. It creates talking points equal to those of entertainment or value. It cannot disappoint. And it is overpowering in comparison with artificiality. There is not one truth for any brand. The consumer does not want to know all the truth about any brand. But any brand that can speak truthfully and entertain and offer real value will get a superb edge on its competition.

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