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Marketing success: What do John Lewis, Brexit and Trump have in common?

Marketing success: What do John Lewis, Brexit and Trump have in common?

At the K Consultancy, we believe the best marketing and advertising strategies involve a singularity of vision and message. Even if your business or product involves a great deal of many different facets, focusing on a single, simple message is essential to grabbing and keeping the interest of potential customers or clients. Let’s take a look at some examples.

The John Lewis example

What better example is there, at this time of year, than the John Lewis Christmas ad? Now a mainstay of the Christmas season – perhaps even more so than the iconic Coca Cola lorries – each of these superb campaigns focus on one thing: John Lewis as a reliable stockist of Christmas presents for all. Though very few budgets could cope with the enormous prime time roll outs and digital marketing firsts that the adverts enjoy, it is a nonetheless excellent case study for simple, effective messages in advertising.

Too many clients focus on the when and how, when they should instead focus on the why. John Lewis are quite simply providing potential customers – in an admittedly OTT way – with an assurance. The why here, is beautifully answered; why shop at John Lewis this Christmas? Because they have ‘gifts that everyone will love’, to quote the strap line. Compare this to such campaigns as Twitter’s ‘moments’ TV campaign of 2015 – in which the text that demonstrated the function moved so fast that no one could read it – and the sheer brilliance of John Lewis’ Christmas ads becomes all the more apparent. A focused, driven and essentially straightforward concept, but with creative that renders it accessible to everyone.

Superb marketing, enormous upheaval

2016 has been a year of single-minded messages that have had repercussions throughout the world. During the battle for Brexit earlier in the year, the leave campaign produced the most resilient message of the whole unpleasant business; a withdrawal from the EU would allow the UK to return £350 million to the NHS per week. This was peddled by leave campaigners such as Nigel Farage’s UKIP, as well as the Conservative’s Michael Gove and Boris Johnson. They all knew it was unrealistic, but that didn’t matter. It stuck, and they won.

The same could be said for Donald Trump’s relentless barrage of ‘crooked Hillary Clinton’. This wasn’t a particularly truthful or meaningful message, but it also stuck. As a result, Clinton and the Democrats lost the trust of their previous base of blue collar workers, who believed only Trump could restore America to a semi-mythical former glory. This was neatly encapsulated by his official slogan ‘make America great again’. Like it or not, you cannot argue at its effectiveness.

So, what can small businesses learn?

Whether you focus on the more serious campaigns or more frivolous, Christmassy ones, small businesses would do well to learn from all of these examples – it is not their large budgets that allowed them to succeed. Finding a USP or an idea and sticking with it is central to success in marketing and advertising; boil down your businesses aims to a simple message and sell that idea far and wide. A good idea doesn’t need a massive budget – people can relate to them in everything from local papers to social media just as easily as they can on television. A single, clear message translates across platforms and mediums.

Stefan Kerridge is founder of The K Consultancy. Partnering with your business to bring expertise without the overhead. Working as part of your business to drive your marketing plan, execute key activities and help you realise your ambitions for more information visit follow on LinkedIn