Does it make you want to buy a can of John’s Tomato Juice?
A good ad would.
A good ad would catch the attention of someone who wanted tomato juice, and offer compelling reasons to choose John’s brand.
But this ad?
People expect tomato juice to be pure and fresh. The “whole tomatoes” part isn’t an expectation, but it’s not surprising, either. Nope. Not a single reason to choose John’s Tomato Juice.
Without a demonstrable difference people tend to buy the more familiar over the less familiar. Even after they’ve seen advertising for the lesser known brand? Unfortunately, yes.
John’s ad may well encourage a shopper to pick up a can of tomato juice. Odds are, though, it will be a can of Del Monte’s, or Hunt’s, or Campbell’s.
John’s, like all of the rest of us, needs a compelling difference to become the brand of choice. If shoppers believe John’s Tomato Juice is just like all of the other brands, the only reason a shopper would choose a lesser known brand like John’s would be price.
But suppose I point out that tomato quality makes a difference in the taste of the juice. John’s Tomato Juice uses only heirloom tomato varieties, chosen for exceptional flavor. John’s tomatoes are individually selected and hand picked at the peak of ripeness. They are processed within hours to capture their freshness.
I’ve just made you aware of a significant difference offered by John’s Tomato Juice, and provided enough specific detail to make my claim of improved taste believable.
Ideally awareness (and in this case curiosity) might prompt you to sample John’s. If you like the taste, John’s could become your preferred juice. And if large numbers of customers sample and prefer John’s, that will lead to increased demand, increased market share, and through economies of scale, greater profits.
This process always starts with awareness, which happens in one of two ways: though large amounts of advertising, or more spontaneously because the product (service) is noticeably different.
Thinking is hard. Remembering, not so much. And once a preference is established in the mind of a consumer, that decision won’t be revisited.
Unless, of course, that consumer is presented with a compelling new reason to reconsider.
Have you ever talked to a homeowner who has decided she needs a new home? Listen carefully to her descriptions. She may only vaguely be able to describe what she wants in her new home, but she will explain the shortcomings of her current house in great detail. Her dissatisfaction will nearly always be a predictor of her purchase behavior.
You could build an ad around her specific irritations. Other disgruntled homeowners would immediately identify and pay attention.
Unfortunately, too many companies don’t bother to research their customers. When it comes time to make something happen their inclination is to cut price. Long term this is seldom a valid strategy.