Perspective | Providing Value, Helping Consumers to Gain Customers

In February of this year the Harvard Business Review Blog Network published an article penned by Joe McCambley entitled Stop Selling Ads and Do Something Useful.  The article focused on how brands need to create experiences for customers rather than creating ads.

In the days of Don Draper, he and his Mad Men were creating billboard, newspaper, magazine, radio and TV ads – this one-to-many methodology was widely accepted. It was the standard in its day and the public ate it up.

The idea of broadcasting and handing down a campaign with a catchy slogan was easy. There were but a handful of channels and audiences revered the words of broadcasters.  There was very little competition in the marketplace, single companies owned complete market segments.

If you wanted to build a brand you hired a Madison Avenue firm and they created a campaign and formatted for each media type.  Big splashy graphics for billboards, unforgettable slogans and characters for TV and crisp concise messages for printed publications.

Today things are different, and although times may have changed – many companies, as well as agencies are still hammering out the same old drivel … So how do companies make the transformation? How do they shift gears and reinvent themselves?

What methodology do they use to separate themselves from the pack? At this year’s International CES in Las Vegas, Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff said that manufacturing is a commodity and brands now have to differentiate themselves with customer experience.  They need to stop selling, and start helping customers, by providing value to consumers.