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Why Your Insights Don't Work: 5 Reasons for Bad Slogans & Creatives

Insight is not only a tool due to which an advertising campaign will work. Insight is the basis for the development of a marketing strategy, the foundation of the brand's pyramid, on which subsequent rings are strung - positioning, USP, mission, vision, slogan.

The topic is important, but for some reason chaos reigns in it. Confusion begins with the definition. Many people confuse consumer insight with a psychological term that means "insight, way out." Although the origins of these concepts are common, consumer insight is not just an idea. The definition of consumer insight reads as follows: a distinct, sometimes not always logically deducible inner feeling and knowledge of the consumer.

Insight replaced the description of the advantages of the brand

It seems that to confuse such things, knowing the correct definition of insight, is impossible. However, in practice, brand managers and creatives often do not notice how they jump from the “pain” of the consumer to the advantage of the product. The need is there, the satisfaction of need is there - everyone is happy. In a fit of joy, everyone forgets about insight, and another brand is born without a chance to grow into a strong brand or a mediocre slogan.

To feel the difference, look at the options for potential insights and communication messages based on them for one of the well-known children's brands:

Idea 1: The stomach of a small child has a very delicate structure.

Message 1: Our product is absolutely safe for the child's stomach.

Idea 2: The development of the child is the main priority of each mother, she must be sure what and how much he eats.

Message 2: Our product gives confidence that the mother correctly feeds the child.

In the first case, we replaced insight with a description of the characteristics of the target audience of the consumer. And in the second version, we got to the bottom of the main trigger, which pushes mom to purchase our product. This is a good insight - it should be the basis of the communication message.

Insight confused with stating obvious facts

Work on insight involves three steps: get into the consumer's head, find out his hidden desires, and finally make sure that the brand can influence them. We emphasize that desire must be hidden, non-obvious. The target audience should have the feeling that the brand has guessed thoughts! And not just guessed, but immediately suggested a solution.

Let's try to feel the difference again:

Idea 1: Our target audience likes to drink tea with something sweet.

Message 1: Our chocolate is a great addition to tea drinking.

Idea 2: People need a reason to take a break from work or study.

Message 2: Our chocolate is a reason to make a “delicious break”.

The tea party option is simply a statement of fact, and the logical connection between the first and second statements is not an insight. Option with a break from the popular chocolate brand contains a hidden need and offers a way out. Consumers are not looking for a solution to this problem, because they themselves are not aware of it. It is the second idea - a good insight!

Insight is taken from focus group confessions and responses

To study the target audience and its needs, a focus group is indispensable. However, even an in-depth interview will not give an unambiguous answer to what the consumer needs. Insight will hide somewhere between the lines. Let's look at the example of AXEE. Deciding to appeal to a young audience and rebuild from competitors, the company conducted a study. The result is the following bundle.

Insight: Men want a woman to make the first step when meeting someone.

Message: Thanks to our deodorant, women will take the initiative.

It is very unlikely that the respondents themselves admitted this. Meanwhile, today, the AXE advertising campaign is one of the best examples of how insight got into the “pain” of a consumer. Do not limit yourself to focus groups and surveys, read forums, see keyword statistics, “listen in” your target audience. So, the chances of finding insight are much higher.

Insight is not tied to the product 

With this, I risked playing the Pure Line ice cream brand. The company is actively exploiting the emotional bond of communication between generations - “and my grandmother tried it.” For a n old-fashioned person, this is both a sign of quality and a strong trigger for buying. Sales soared.

The difficulty is only in the fact that mayonnaise "Provence", candy "Bear in the north", and other signs of the past can be on the spot of this product. Over time, the brand may not be remembered in advertising. As, for example, it happened with the famous German company and its sticky jingle “Pay attention! Made in Germany". Surely, many people still can sing it, but remember which product was advertised in the video?

This is not such a serious mistake compared to the previous ones. But if you do not want your brand to be forgotten immediately after the end of the advertising campaign, make a choice in favor of insight, which is inextricably linked with the product.

And the point is not in the statute of limitations. Strong insight wins the year. The brand "TeraFlu" entered the market with the slogan "There is no time to get sick" in 1998. And whatever doctors and supporters of proper treatment may say, the target audience will buy it in order to quickly get on their feet. After all, executives should not miss work due to illness. That is the brand insight.

Insight is based on a lie

Of course, brands sell the dream. But when it comes to insight, marketers, entrepreneurs and all who are involved in the process should take off their rose-colored glasses. The consequences of "fake insight" can hit very hard on reputation and sales. In an attempt to hook a new target audience, brands sometimes try to “improve” reality, and then “vanilla” rallies are born (Pepsi advertising campaign) and young people drinking kvass in any strange situation.

Please note that in many strong insights, consumers and reality are not perfect. Mom is not an almighty superhero, she needs help; children's food is natural and therefore not very tasty for adults; deodorant buyers are not Hollywood macho (AXE).

There can be countless insights - it is easy to come up with something new even in a super competitive market.

Of course, there are nuances. Young brands should start with rational insights: “I want to get rid of acne, then I feel more confident”. And to offer rational benefits - “get rid of acne.” Mature brands can already talk about managing life, flight, freedom, exclusivity, and, again, confidence.

Most importantly, in both cases it should not be an abstract certainty, but a certain sensation that the consumer will experience in a real situation. See how the communication strategy of a well-known brand of women's hygiene products is built. Confidence here is expressed in the concrete action - putting on white trousers. Moreover, the insight “You will feel confident even in white” lies beyond the bounds of the “need - satisfaction of need” bundle. The image of a cheerful girl in light jeans is a bold move, because in fact it contradicts the traditional pattern of behavior of the target audience.

Insight generation is a skill that needs to be trained regularly. Find a theoretical minimum on the Internet and sharpen your observation on everyday items. And then on a combat mission you can accumulate 5 insights, build 5 concepts on their basis, test the options and choose the one that will “blow up” the market.

About the author: Melisa Marzett is a freelancer working for an English writing company and a traveler who enjoys simple things. She likes watching the sunrise, Christmas holidays and sitting by the fire somewhere in the woods.