Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The tears of a clown

This is a funny, funny commercial. It has everything a good spot should have: a solid idea based on the brand promise, crisp writing, excellent casting, acting, direction and editing.

So why doesn't it move me? It's not because my brother's a clown and I can't stand to see such blatant clown abuse. And it's not because I don't like to save money. I do. Likely it's because there are parts of the Walmart brand that I'm not a fan of and this message doesn't address any of them. (This is not a political blog, so I'm not going into any of those reasons here).

That's what makes Walmart such a smart marketer. They don't waste any of their time worrying about me or anyone like me. They've built their brand on low prices and target consumers for whom the pocketbook trumps all other issues. Based on their most recent earnings statement that seems to be working very well for them.

The temptation when you get bigger is to broaden your target which reduces differentiation. Just look at what happened to brands like Sears, Schwinn and Miller Lite. If Walmart were to address my issues, it would drive up prices in their stores thus diminishing what makes them so appealing to so many people.

The lesson here, every business needs focus, no matter how big.

(Thanks to my friend, J.J. Sedelmaier for bringing this spot to my attention.)

1 comment:

  1. Jay Chiat once asked, "How big can you get before you get bad?" Toyota found out. Will Walmart? Not so far.