Amid all the controversy with the VW TDI cars, and all the fanfare about Tesla's all-electric SUV and the hopeful 2017 release of its mass-market Model 3, one can say that product development continues to be an important part of advertising and marketing communications.
In fact, product development and marketing should always be joined together. It is not hard to see why.
We've talked about this at length before, but it doesn't hurt to circle back, take a lesson from those before us, and apply it to our daily practice.
Bill Bernbach knew the importance of a good product. One of his better-known quotes suggested that all the best advertising in the world cannot save a bad product. In fact, he said that a solid advertising campaign will make a bad product fail faster, since more people will learn that it’s bad.
With all the hype and promotion for VW’s "clean diesel," they had to put their production where their mouth was. Unfortunately, they did it in the wrong manner and are now facing the consequences.
Brands must understand that they can go from agency to agency, shop to shop, and be given dynamite advertising and marketing strategies, but it can't stop there. Brands must invest more in creating a good product that their target market wants than they do in finding a market that will buy the product. There is a difference.
When we attract, maintain, and satisfy "raving fans," as Ken Blanchard would put it, we have to partner up with brands to create good products and an experience that exceeds expectations.
If we invest in these resources now, we will be way better off later.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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