One of the things I used to hear in my former job was that all businesses think they face unique challenges, but that’s not really the case. Everything can boil down to a pretty comparable set of challenges all organizations face. They just look a little different. While that may be true when you have time to sit back and reflect, when you’re in the thick of it, that “different look” is all you see. It does look unique from your perspective.
In situations when you need to understand the picture as it looks here and now, spend time with those who understand what you need. One company can’t have all the answers, but all the answers are there for you to see in various companies. You just have to keep your eyes open and keep asking questions. For example: dual identity marketing. Allstate and Anheuser-Busch InBev have this pretty down pat.
Allstate has brought its heart-felt “In Good Hands” ads together with “Mahem,” an alternate identity that reminds us all that life happens sometimes, are you ready? I remember seeing the “Back to Basics” ads running just as the economy was really hitting my own paycheck, and I thought to myself, “Yes, I need to get back to basics.” Between providing laughs and motivation about what it means to get through life, Allstate is covering their markets.
Budweiser is no different. “Real Men of Genius” is still an ad campaign that cracks me up whenever someone plays one of the radio bits. But what really gets me are the commercials honoring our military or the post 9/11 salute to the empty New York skyline. That last commercial with the Clydesdales bowing their heads stopped entire conversation in our marketing class. The image still hits home as we come up on 10 years. So how to “Dude” spots live with the same brands as salutes that make you proud to be an American?
It’s about the dual identity, but you must know who you are before you try to split yourself. For Budweiser, it’s the tribute to the American spirit that drives the marketing that pulls at your heartstrings. However, ever since being acquired by InBev, each American spirit ad causes a little voice in the back of my mind to speak up and say, “But it’s not an American company anymore.” Will Budweiser be able to maintain the dual identity?
One must make sure that you see the whole picture, not just your own, when thinking about how you may what to take on the challenges in your own organization. Look to those in similar industries. However, as said earlier, many challenges can be boiled down to basics. Take time to look outside your industry. Compare insurance against beer.
Which could have the answers to help you conquer your own challenges?