There is no room for failure – it’s an idea that gets thrown around a lot in marketing meetings. And it makes sense to think that way, right? Since so much planning goes into even the smallest detail of a campaign, it’s only natural to want to maximize your success. But, in their attempt to make everything go perfect, marketers and brands alike have become afraid of taking risks.
As a result, most marketing campaigns seem like they’ve been copied and pasted from the same guidebook. There’s little deviation from the common approach marketers use to promote a brand. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with focusing on crafting great content, using social media strategically, and getting people to talk about you. But where’s the creativity?
Finding Comfort in Failing
It’s not just advisable for marketers and brands to take risks; it’s almost imperative they do so. When everyone is singing the same tune, it can be rather difficult for consumers to identify an individual voice. That’s not an ideal scenario.
Industries like digital marketing, advertising, or product innovation are growing fast, and the rules keep changing. Your job isn’t just to follow the guidelines, but also anticipate what will happen next and stay ahead of the game.
Being groundbreaking is almost impossible when the fear of taking risks doesn’t allow you to move forward. Here’s the thing: failing isn’t a show stopper, but an opportunity to learn. It’s impossible to assess whether something will work or not unless it’s put to the test.
Marketers and advertising agencies have a lot of resources at their disposal to test the water before going public with new and ingenious campaigns, but often they don’t. And, that’s a shame considering that it can help you figure out what consumers want, especially now when they have learned how to tune out aggressive marketing messages and are looking for genuine communication with brands.
Failing Is Not the End
When the Gap changed its logo back in 2010, it wasn’t just that people didn’t like it – it sprung outrage. The logo itself wasn’t the catalyst for public discontent (though people had a blast criticizing it on social media), but how they handled it. The company asked people to send in their logo suggestions, which in turn sparked a lot of criticism, with some even saying the entire thing was just a marketing scheme to get a rebrand for free.
As you might already know, the Gap is still going strong. The failure didn’t push the brand into oblivion, but it made it more aware of one simple fact: if your audience feels you’re dishonest, they will reprimand you for it. The same things happened with the Tropicana repackaging or Pepsi rebranding. All three brands were suddenly confronted with the clear possibility of failure, and yet all three managed to overcome these stepping stones and continue to thrive.
If there’s any take away from this text, it’s this: failure isn’t as deadly as you’d think, as long as you learn your lessons from it.