Our expression here in the West is ‘the customer is king’.
In Japan they go one better.
They say, kyakusama wa kamisama – which literally means, ‘the customer is God.’
One thing’s for sure, nothing happens until the moment your customer buys.
So, as you know, there are more than a few ways to address a customer’s importance.
With CRM programs, perks, points, clubs, priority status, events, discounts, help lines and the like.
To this, add advertisements that don’t insult the intelligence of the prospect.
But the problem these days is that too many ads and far too much content hits you like a powerful anesthetic.
They’re definitely on your anti-bucket list.
Except Acura. It wins in the fab vs. drab stakes.
Mullen Advertising, teaming up with Jerry Seinfeld as copywriter, changed the game.
The 1960s language and claims in the commercials sound so deeply imperfect to our ears they’re funny. Bloody funny.
They cast Acura as a great alternative.
The spots treat you in the kyakusama wa kamisama manner for watching deliberately bad advertising that’s now suddenly good.
The commercials spark your intelligence rather than insult it.
The underlying message? if you’re smart and funny, this is the car you should look at.
Acura could be alone in the car market to get this thought across.
But a quick poll at the gym last night revealed that the VW Darth Vader spot was pretty good, too.
So if you’re in the car business competing against Acura, what’s your next move?
How can you avoid the inquest of wondering what you should do to be more successful?
How do you make buyers choose you?
How do you go up against Jerry Seinfeld, get noticed, change market behavior to your advantage and earn greater brand share?
Of course, there’s the old joke about solving problems like this.
Solutions … too often they’re the point when people got tired of thinking.
So, do you have the insight and energy to think further? Do you have wide-awake ideas to compete in a better way?
How do you come up with strategies and content that lengthen attention spans and make what’s familiar about your brand seem brand new?
Share your ideas and comments with us.
Meanwhile for Acura, a brand that’s clearly emerging, there’s one thing better than success.
And for that, here’s a last question.
How can you ensure you stay firmly on the kyakusama wa kamisama road?
Thanks for reading. Steve Ulin