I was driving behind a Hovis van the other day and couldn’t help but think how much confidence a brand has to have in its product to go with the strap line ‘As good today as it’s always been’
We’re in an ever evolving world, where technology is at the forefront of everyone’s minds (and finger tips) we are constantly striving to make people faster, smarter, more beautiful. We need mobiles that do more than just call and text. We need cars that are comfier, more fuel efficient, faster (even if we can’t legally drive them at the speeds they can reach). We want foods that are fresher, tastier, creamier, crunchier. It seems that a lot of brands goals today are to differentiate their product by showing an improvement.
As opposed to good ol’ Hovis who, by using a line which connotes no improvements what so ever since their first humble loaf was baked centuries before. They take a big risk assuming that their customers wouldn’t want to benefit from technology enabling their loaves to be fresher, last longer or have a crunchier crust…even though I’m sure it does. They use a strap line that encapsulates its heritage and its quality and not that it needs to evolve to keep up with other products on the market. Its unique selling point is that it hasn’t changed.
But this led me to thinking about technology and our constant need to improve. An analogy would be the recent smash of the 100m womens relay at London 2012. Thanks to advancements in footwear, clothing, sports enhancement drinks, 4 women were able to smash one of the longest standing athletic records. But surely there will come a time when we, as humans, can’t go any faster. Surely we will reach a point when we can’t physically jump any higher, swim any faster or throw any further. No matter how amazing Athletes become, they cannot run 100 meters in 1 second, so there will come a point where things grind to a holt (even for Bolt). And what will happen if the same happens elsewhere; where scientist, mechanics, bakers hold their hands up and shout ‘that’s it…we’re done…we cannot make this cough syrup / car/ loaf of bread any more fantastic…it is perfection’
Then our job as marketers becomes a tricky one, how do we differentiate products when perfection is eventually reached. It’s then we will look at a strap line like Hovis and realise they’ve pulled a blinder, for their product hasn’t needed to change, it has always been the highest quality.
That’s work that has always worked.