An excellent product with terrible packaging will lose in the marketplace to a mediocre (or bad) product with great packaging. It is of no use to complain about this fact, or even to protest that the excellent product is better.
If you’ve got terrible packaging, you won’t get new customers, you’ll lose current customers, and you’ll go out of business. You all know these things to be true, you see it when you go to the store, you see it in your own lives. This is absolutely the case with the Conservative movement.
Our product is terrific, demonstrably so. Our packaging, our marketing, our messaging – all pretty well shy of mediocre.
I recently saw a terrific visual example. An attempt at an image+text message, to get people to come to a rally. I don’t know who made it, I’m nut sure what the event is, that’s not the point. The point is that there is a MUCH better way to communicate the message. They’re trying to publicize an event and drive particpation.
This is the original:
I posted the image to a private group, asking the other members to provide their input as to what specific elements of the poster were off-target. A smattering of the answers:
- Too much text
- Excessive punctuation
- Colonial outfits communicate crazy to the general voting populace
- Too much bold, angry, shouting imagery – makes one think the event will just be a bunch of shouting angry people – that’s not enticing
- American Spring calls to mind the Arab Spring which was a colossal failure resulting in death, destruction, and dictatorships
- Too many logos, extraneous information, just too busy
- Where do I get more information? No idea.
- All white people
- Hyperbole – a million people? most-important?
- “force a tyrant out” – reinforces stereotype of violent dangerous Tea Party
Then, one of our members, Lynn Seborn posted an alternative:
Lynn’s guidelines in making the alternative:
- Reframe negatives to positives
- Move emphasis from looking to the past to looking our future
- Emphasize self sacrifice for others
- Ask question to provoke response
- Provide a place for viewers to go for more info
All of this transpired in less than an hour, on a workday, with ideas tossed in by 11 people, and the alternative was put together on a smartphone in 10 minutes.
My goal in posting these two images is not to advertise for or criticize any event, individual, or group but to show that we can do better, and it’s actually just as easy to market and publiicize well as it is to do it poorly.
We just have to change our perspective, focus on what the audience wants, what will persuade them, what will appeal to them.
So, what do you think of this transformation? Is this the kind of change in thinking that we can get behind? Is there some unacceptable compromise involved in trying to modify our messaging to appeal to people on a different level?
I think that for a quick illustration of a before and after, this little exercise was quite helpful. We need to do this sort of thing more often. The orignal image was a terrific learning tool for us – it got my little group talking about these things, and it was nice to see how quickly we really got into the idea.
We do have great ideas for how to sell the conservative product, we just need to share those ideas with each other, and implement them.