How marketing materials can fail (and what to do about it)

Have you ever looked at your marketing materials and thought, “that’s not really me?”

Been there. In fact, my (thankfully last) resume comes to mind.

In recent months I’ve attended the funerals of three dear friends. As I read the obituary of the most recent – a life long family friend – I found myself contemplating how inadequate it is to try to sum up a life in just a few concise paragraphs.

And, oddly, my mind wandered a bit, thinking how most marketing materials similarly fail to tell us what’s really unique about a brand.

In fact, just the opposite happens. We end up producing yet another marketing material to live in a sea of sameness.

Because they fail to tell the story.  

Here’s 3 considerations for why we often fail to tell our best story:

  1. Trying to say it all.  There’s a natural inclination to want to say everything about our brands (accomplishments and products). As a result, real essence and meaning can get lost. Consider the parts of your story based on your intent. What’s the purpose of telling it? What do you want people to understand as a result?
  2. Focusing on achievements and credentials. Forget the “who done what” plot line and tell me what you stand for … The who you are and how you came to be that waystory that defines how you do business.  By the way, that’s why the eulogy is more telling and emotional – it gives us a glimpse into personal character and relationship. Facts comes to life. How can you make your brochure do the same?
  3. Fear of bragging. Ever read an obituary and think, “I didn’t know that?” It’s a little sad that sometimes we don’t know people that well and it’s only through their final brochure (so to speak) that we learn things about our dearly departed. What value do you deliver that’s still a best-kept-secret?

If you had the chance to write one last final brochure for your brand, what would you really say?

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