Step 2

What role should advertising play?

Do you know what role your advertising plays in achieving your brand goals? Some brands have advertised for so many years that the answer is not immediately obvious.

The best way we have come across to determine the role advertising should play starts with a situational analysis. You have to establish what people need to know, think and feel about your brand to make them want to buy it, and what they must know in order to actually buy it. Compare this to what they know, think and feel about your brand now. Once this is clear, the role for advertising can become remarkably obvious. Just make sure it’s single-minded — don’t ask too much of your advertising.

The primary role of advertising might be to simply let people know where they can find a brand that they already like. For example: ‘New IKEA store - just off Junction 9 of the M6.’ Alternatively, the advertising task might be much tougher. In the early ‘90s, for example, the prevailing style of décor in Britain was fussy, frilly and fancy. To succeed in the UK, IKEA needed Brits to start thinking of this style as being unfashionable so that they would embrace IKEA’s clean, contemporary Nordic designs. This strategic priority led to the hugely successful ‘Chuck out your Chintz’ campaign.

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