Think of a bilingual or multilingual country.
Which country came into your mind? Canada? English and French. Switzerland? German, French and Italian. Afghanistan? Pashto and Dari.
Whichever country it was, it won’t have been Britain.
However, Britain speaks two languages.
The words are exactly the same. But the meaning is often completely different. Here are a few examples…
We say, “that’s a brave proposal.” The other person hears “how courageous of me.” But we mean “are you out of your mind?!”
We say, “I only have a few minor comments.” The other person hears “there is no major issue.” But we mean “please completely re-write this.”
We say, “I may join you later.” The other person hears “they may be coming later.” But we mean “I have absolutely no intention of joining you later.”
What we say and what we mean are often two very different things.
o survive you need to speak both languages. You need to understand the words AND the meaning.
Why are we talking about this? The end goal of everything we do in our industry should be to make it as easy as possible for shoppers to do what we want them to do.
To get more shoppers to buy our category or brand. To get them to buy (& use) the category or brand more often. To get them to pay more for better products and solutions.
However, there are many times when we don’t make it easier for shoppers. We actually make it much harder.
This is because brands are often speaking a different language to shoppers. They tell shoppers what they want to tell them NOT what shoppers need to hear.
They develop brilliantly creative messages. But forget that most shoppers don’t know what the product is. They inject more and more meaning into these messages. But forget that shoppers are looking for a solution for the kids’ lunchbox not trying to save the world.
So, it is that time of the year again. When Insight Traction introduce our alternative awards.
The Insight Traction Lions. Our version of the (slightly more famous) Cannes Lions.
A set of awards that are firmly anchored in the real world.
A world that understands that shoppers spend far less time thinking about our categories and brands then we do. A world in which shoppers get bored much less quickly than we do. A world in which shoppers buy your product not your purpose.
Awards that honour simple, clear and effective shopper communication.
Simple. Communication that is instantly recognisable. Messaging that says less. That uses few words. Short words. Everyday language.
Clear. Communication that is really easy to process. That tells shoppers what a product is. What it does. Why it’s good.
Effective. Communication that frames choices effectively. That makes a brand the most obvious choice for shoppers to buy.
They are the awards that nobody cares about. Apart from us and a few other renegades.
The renegades who are in the meeting saying, “why don’t we just say, ‘eat more fish’” or “drink one a day” to looks of disbelief from the hipster strategist who has spent the last hour telling you everything you didn’t need to know about the target shopper.
So, no need to sponsor a table at The Dorchester. No need to dust off the dinner jacket or cocktail dress. No need to perfect your “just getting nominated was enough” expression when someone else bags the award.
Just follow Insight Traction on Linked In.
We will start sharing the Insight Traction Lions winners from Monday 15th November. They will run over 4 weeks.
Take a look. You might be the next renegade…
Feel free to forward. Have a great weekend. Speak to you in a fortnight.