Marketers are the first to get bored by their own marketing.
Particularly when a new leader joins a brand team, there’s a common bias in marketing that what will drive growth is to change everything everywhere all at once. Given the revolving door of many marketing roles, the cycle can repeat with each leadership change.
While brands need fresh thinking and ideas to stay relevant, consistency and continuity is under-rated. It’s part of what builds a brand’s “mental availability”, as Byron Sharp defined as “the probability that a buyer will notice, recognize and/or think of a brand in buying situations.”
Most marketers are familiar with the cautionary tale of Tropicana’s disastrous packaging change in 2009 that led to a 20% drop in sales in two months. In one fell swoop, the brand team erased many of the cues that consumers relied on to shop.
Internal pressure to change for the sake of change isn’t limited to packaging, however. It can touch every communication lever in the marketing toolkit, from the website to advertising.
There has long been a marketing assumption that advertising experiences wear-out. Last year, System1 released research that dispelled that myth, finding that there’s “no sell-by date for advertising” and encouraged marketers to stick with campaign ideas for longer so they realize the benefits of repeated exposure.
As Mark Ritson recently observed:
“Wear-out is not the issue that many in the industry once thought. Indeed, it may not be an issue with consumers at all. It’s only marketers that grow tired of their communications. Wear-out is their problem, not that of the market.”
By trying to avoid “wear-out”, marketers are missing the benefits of “wear-in.”
Here are a few related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years: