When you’re market testing things, it helps to have the opinion of people with all levels of maturity, age and background/gender. While studying anything you’re about to bring to market, including slogans, designs and logos, is often done with the most advanced methods a lot of people forget to include the childish people in the audience when doing so.
But sometimes you can miss something based on whom you’re not testing to.
Let me explain. While many people read this blog might assume that I’m a mature adult male, in many ways I have all the maturity of a 12-year-old boy. It’s true. And this is not uncommon among men. Perhaps women are the same. I don’t know.
So if someone were pitching a product to me and that pitch happened to capture the immature side of me, the pitch is over. That’s all I would be able to think about. And, unfortunately, the immature side of people is really the side that loves social media the most so that dumb take on things is what’s most likely to get shared. And that’s what people are sharing about your business.
Fortunately there is some layer of maturity that seems to occasionally creep up inside of me that prevents the middle schooler from always ruling the day. This is fortunate. But notice that I wrote ‘occasionally.’
Recently I came across a big company’s new slogan. I’m sure many tens of thousands of dollars were spent researching this new slogan. There had to have been focus groups, marketing meetings, charts, graphs and more. I can’t imagine.
My first inclination when I heard the slogan was to slather social media with all sorts of stupid posts about how ridiculously stupid this new slogan was and how easily the mind of a middle schooler would twist it around and have a good laugh at it.
But I didn’t have to. The cesspool of silly that is the Internet beat me to it and circles that focus on advertising that I spend time in were having a field day with the slogan. Apparently they only tested the new slogan on mature adults.
Another prime example of this is the Nike advertisement featuring football player Colin Kaepernick. Again, the immature have taken to social media and inundated it with takes on the advertisement. But this has actually benefited the company whose stock has soared to an all-time high and whose product sales have followed suit.
Sometimes it’s good that the immature among us also have wallets. And this isn’t the first time I’ve seen really bad decisions put in the format of a sign.
Sometimes names that would be perfectly normal in a foreign country do not translate here and one example of that caused a friend and I to laugh so hard we had to stop driving and pull over. At least I’m not the only man with the mind of a child.
But lots and lots of words and phrases can have different meaning to different people. Sometimes even the same cultural background can interpret things differently when they come from different generations.
There are at least two small businesses in my little tourism town with names that have absolutely no appeal to me and don’t resonate at all. But they’re big hits with millennials. Except that I think these businesses would more rather have people of my generation and their spending ability.
If you’re considering a new logo, slogan, or just want to see how your business name resonates with prospective customers it might be good to run it by them. Also, your slogan and any other marketing materials might deserve a second, third of even 30th pair of eyes.
Don’t forget to include various age groups, ethnic backgrounds and socioeconomic groups.
This is another reason to have a volunteer board of directors as I’ve written about before. I still think that’s the best idea I’ve ever had. Maybe you’ll get more for your thing.