Bear Faced Marketing

Bear with me…

Bear marketing York shop

… This little fella is telling you something.

He’s saying “Hi, come on in. There’s more like me (only much smaller) inside.”

This bear knows his job.

He’s there to attract attention.

He’s positioned to make people stop and take notice.

He’s 100 per cent there to trigger your emotions.

At all three, this bear does a wonderful job.

He’s huge! In a narrow street he stands out even more from the norm.

The natural human response is to go “Wow. That’s a big bear. What’s he doing there?”

It encourages your eye to switch to the shop window and entrance behind… where seemingly hundreds of cuddly, furry relatives await.

The big bear outside appears to trigger smiles and inner laughter from passers by. The smaller bears inside are the ones who work to tug at the heartstrings.

“Oh, aren’t they cute?”… “Look at this one. His fur is all old and worn…. oh, and this one is all soft and shiny”… “Aww, isn’t he lovely”… “I want to take this one home with me”… and more.

Only the most hardened, cold-blooded human could enter this shop and not have a single emotion stirred.

There’s just something about cuddly bears – Teddy bears, teddies, soft toys – that has appeal for children and adults alike. Maybe for some people more than others yet childhood memories can be powerful and recalled with one glance.

This, if you like is a bear truth…

… Unlike the bear-faced lies, misinformation and misunderstandings which buzz around the world of marketing  month after month.

Let me illustrate.

Take a look at the following nine statements:

It is vital for marketing to differentiate a brand.

It’s cheaper to keep a customer than acquire one.

Buyers have a special reason to buy a particular brand.

Price promotions boost market penetration, not brand loyalty.

Greater customer loyalty reflects the strength, not the size, of a brand.

Mass marketing is not competitive any more.

The heaviest 20 per cent of a brand’s customers account for at least 80 per cent of its sales.

Who a brand competes with depends on the positioning of the brand’s image.

The consumers of a particular brand are a distinctive type of person.

Which of the above do you agree with, do you think are TRUE?

What’s your score out of nine?

This may surprise you but…

If you said TRUE for most of the above statements you would be carrying out your business and your marketing under many false assumptions.

That’s not my personal opinion, by the way. This is what scientific research is telling us… if we bother to look for it.

There are many other misconceptions, myths and misunderstandings about marketing and copy – the words used to convey the marketing message.

You may hear something like “You have to be using Social Media for successful marketing.”


Many businesses are getting results – often better results – using more traditional methods… Sales letters popped in the post, carefully constructed mailing packages, postcards, posters, adverts and other old-school approaches.

Sure, Social Media can help and play it’s part. For some businesses it may be more significant than others. But let’s not confuse having thousands of Facebook ‘Likes’ with a well thought out marketing campaign. One is ego-driven, the other is sales and results driven.

“People won’t read pages and pages of copy online (or in a letter)”…

… is the type of comment made by someone who has probably NEVER written copy in their life or NEVER understood how humans tick.

I can’t think of ONE high-grade copywriter who would, in general, bet short copy against long copy.

Obviously there are cases where short is best. But do you know when to use it and when not?

It’s easy to get tripped up.

And there are plenty of people who seem happy to shell out on the latest fad programmes and products because they themselves are clueless about what to do.

The sheep climb aboard the guru train. Often with little or no questioning about why or how it will help their specific, individual, personal business.

Meanwhile the smart bear simply stands, observes the masses and sticks to the essence of his job.

Sometimes less is more.

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