Traditional brands generally love the problem/solution sell … unless of course the problem is something “unmentionable.” And that’s precisely when our problem/solution-addicted brand marketers get tongue tied and start looking for some other way to deliver the message.
In an age-old category of air freshening, dominated by world-class, global marketers, come-from-behind Poo-Pourri continues to nail relevancy in product, targeting, usage occasion, packaging, distribution, messaging and media choice.
And then there are the brands that run from their own shadows, missing the opportunity to break convention and appeal to an audience that likely prefers straight talk. Instead, that audience is met with absurdity: adult women enjoying aerobics in bladder control undies, cartoon bears struggling with bits of Charmin stuck on their rumps, and, yes, illusions of spa-like aromatherapy in the bathroom.
Few brands can really differentiate themselves with a problem/solution approach anymore. Nor should they. But in categories where the convention is to distort a problem for fear of awkward conversation, the biggest opportunity is missed. And that’s when the “let’s not say it” approach to consumer engagement leaves the door open for another brand who isn’t afraid to own it.