I’d change #4 to “Have a dominant share of advertising with an acceptable ROI.” For a company like Colgate-Palmolive, maybe it’s not an issue. For the small and midsize businesses I work with, advertising for the sake of advertising is about as dumb as dumb can get… and all too common a business practice. On the other hand, closely tracked direct response advertising with a good ROI they can never get enough of.
Jeff Himmel, chairman of the Himmel Group, which has rebuilt such brands as Ovaltine and Lavoris, outlined the “Twelve Musts” in product turnarounds:
1. Point of difference. Will consumers buy this product instead of another brand?
2. Unique selling proposition. Does the product tell a unique story?
3. Make the brand stand out.
4. Dominant share of advertising.
5. Frequency of advertising. Make sure the message about your product is repeated over and over to the public.
6. Listen to the consumer, and then listen again more carefully.
7. Produce creative advertising that strikes a chord with the consumer.
8. Control commercial production costs. (He tends to only spend about $2,000 producing a commercial.)
9. Use your money to place ads, not make ads, and get a dominant share of advertising.
10. Live in a state of perpetual paranoia and always know what your competitors are doing.
11. Consider the X factors about your product. For example, does it have an existing distribution, or will it have to be created from scratch?
12. Have discipline to follow all the points on this list.