Magazine article Marketing

Understanding a Customer Is the Best Guarantee

Magazine article Marketing

Understanding a Customer Is the Best Guarantee

Article excerpt

I wonder if you know this old rhyme, which I first read in David Ogilvy's Confessions of an Advertising Man.

"When the client moans and sighs, make his logo twice the size. If he still should prove refractory, show a picture of the factory. Only in the gravest cases should you show the clients' faces."

Quite funny if you've dealt with clients; but the advice is rather suspect. I cannot offhand recall pictures of the factory doing much good, but clients' faces often work a treat, even when they're not very pretty. One example is the man on the front of the Viking Office Supplies catalogues.

All you heavy strategic thinkers probably don't study such dull product areas, but maybe you should. That man probably makes more than any three of us put together. Viking came here and cleaned up in less than two years because their catalogues had personality where others didn't. They do great direct marketing too, varying prices to different customer groups, and giving regular unexpected 'thank you' gifts. And they use the same format in many countries.

Another man who did very well was Victor Kiam, who promised his electric shavers would "shave as close as a blade, or I'll give you your money back". Guarantees work particularly well when people are sceptical about your claims.

A good example is Cable & Wireless's current double-your-money-back promise.

Guarantees are so familiar a part of the marketing scenery you can easily ignore their power. Marks & Spencer, for instance, built their entire brand without any advertising at all - just good products, sites and shops and one thing every customer knew: if you weren't happy they'd always refund your money without question. …

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