For your brand to be successful in China, Super Signs is essential to read this story of the HUA Brothers and their approach to branding. The HUA Brothers are amongst China’s leading branding and strategy consultants. In this book, learn how to leverage the power of super signs and create exceptional brands. Today we hear their insights into print advertising.
The key difference between print and TV advertising is that print has a much larger information capacity. To put it another way, in print you have a choice to provide more or less information. My suggestion is, the more information the better. In print, make the copy as long as you can. More information is better. In print, make the copy as long as you can. The more information you provide, the more customers will buy. The purpose of print advertising is to provide the information the customer needs to make a decision up front. It needs to offer guidance, instead of just attracting attention. Leave the job of attracting attention to your billboards.
If a real estate advertisement has no price information, then the consumer won’t be able to make a decision – the decision-making cost has increased. When people buy property, they have to settle on a price range first. They set a budget, then make a choice based on this budget. If you don’t list your price, your customers would have to call and ask you before the event start their decision making. Most people would never make the call.
In our newspaper ads for Peacock City, we showed off our beautiful houses with clearly marked prices. When customers saw the great houses and the great prices, the ka-chings began. Then we took an even bigger step. We included the full price chart in our ads, showing the price for every house type. There was a secret to this price chart!
Why include the chart?
Because we wanted to lower the decision-making for our customers. What did our customer base their decision on? On the price, we were selling it. So the price chart was sorted by price range. The four Peacock City projects were all mixed up. The house types that fell into each price range, regardless of which project they were in, were listed together.
This tactic was inspired by my experiences with shoe shopping. I have small feet, so it’s difficult for me to buy shoes. Often I find a shoe I really like, but the salesperson has to go in the back to see if they have it in my size. A lot of the time, they come back after 15 minutes to say that they don’t. I don’t blame them – I have small feet, so it’s naturally harder to buy shoes.
The one time I was in the US and I walked into a shoe shop, I discovered that there was no reason that I couldn’t find five pairs of shoes in my size in just five minutes! That’s because this shop arranges the displays by size, not a brand. Think about it: the right size is a requirement when you’re buying a pair of shoes.
Price and brand are factors in the decision, but not requirements. In this show store, there are signs hanging from the ceiling with numbers representing sizes. The shelf under the number six were all size six-shoes, and the next shelf was all size seven, all the way to size 12 and more. The customer just needs to go to the shelf for their size, where they could be a hundred pairs of shoes, all of which fit your feet. You can leave with a pair you like in minutes. This is what I mean by low decision-making costs.
At that time Peacock City offered homes from half a million to four million RMB. We listed them all, grouped by price range so that customers could choose the best one for their budget. The next day, a line of cars formed in front of the sales office for Peacock City Youngding River, stretching all the way to the freeway. the highway police had been deployed to maintain order. That was when the sales for Peacock City launched into the stratosphere.
There is a form of creativity so powerful that it only takes one look and one listens for millions of consumers to remember it, like it, buy it, and tell others about it. These are so-called Super Signs – the brands that are embedded in human culture and hidden deep in our subconscious.
This book takes a fresh approach to branding and explores how to turn brands into Super Signs in today’s competitive and ever-changing world. Super Signs are the most effective and powerful means of influencing a consumer’s actions. From a branding point of view, Super Signs are the ultimate level that your brand can reach — a level where the brand triggers an instinctive reaction in thought and action from the consumer.
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