Change for the sake of change, or change when it is necessary? Even the biggest brands often make the mistake of changing their image or product because they feel an apprehended need to adapt to fickle customers’ wants. There is an old saw that goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” but this seems lost on some companies who get overheated by the rush of Social Media Marketing.
A good example is Geico, a US based insurance company. They have been using the insightful and comedic ads from the Martin Agency for quite some time, with a great deal of success. The Geico Camel, the Gecko, and a host of other animal inspired ads were their hallmark and their inspiration was the Martin Agency based in New York. Just for the sake of change, they decided to launch a campaign with a different firm the IQ Agency of Atlanta, Georgia. The resulting ads which you can see here (http://tinyurl.com/ok5kf2b) are funny, but not quite the ticket for selling insurance to the common person. The animals (Camel, Gecko, etc.) were right on the mark for their product, but “change for the sake of change” will yield them little or no advantage in their market.
McDonalds is an excellent example of change for the sake of ???. They constantly come up with alterations to the menu based on exhaustive and costly consumer studies and focus groups, which often miss the mark entirely. Their latest concoction the ”CBO burger” is a mystery. Most people want to go with a brand they know, the product they like, and the service that they are willing to pay for, but the mad dash for Social Media novelty drives even the biggest brands to spend money and risk the loss of clients for the sake of change and often times motivated by sheer stupidity.
All of this nonsense is not so much the fault of advertisers as it is the fault of the agencies. In a world of overwhelming analytics and data crunching, they often lose touch with reality. The desire to be innovative becomes the creation of the just plain weird or fickle.
Every business, large or small, has an innate knowledge of what their customers want or like about their brand. The trick is in exploiting that in an innovative way, not in rebranding or drastically realigning the pitch. What must be kept in mind is that the Ad Agencies, particularly in the field of Social Media, are highly competitive and often miss the mark themselves. In their zeal to sell a new idea to a client, they often forget the truism “Steady as she goes”!