trinet

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As a kid who grew up in the ad business, I’ve seen a lot of ad craft. Today, as a brand planner it’s hard for me to look at advertising without a jaundiced eye. When I see ink and words and picture, but not strategy, I cringe. Worse when I see an ad with 7 strategies.

Who is approving this stuff?

The best advice I learned in the ad business was “focus.” There is a research convention in advertising called “Day After Recall Testing,” in which a magazine is sent to a consumer paid to read it. A day later they are called and questioned about the ad content.  Most common recall is tied to the pictures; rarely the words. If the words relate to the pictures all the better. It’s a great litmus for effective advertising.

Trinet is a smart benefits and HR outsourcing company. Sorry to pick on them again. But I read and expensive ad they published today, delivering what they feel it their brand claim: Incredible.  That’s an ad claim, not a brand claim, by the way.  The ad suffers from the “fruit cocktail effect” in that it is pushing 6 corporate good-ats: Expertise (oy), Access, Benefits, Guidance, Technology and Freedom.  All under the “Incredible” umbrella. James Joyce would be proud.

If this ad campaign is not done in-house I’d be surprised. If done by an agency, I’d be ashamed.

Smart marketing starts with a smart, actionable, endemic brand strategy.

Peace|

 

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TriNet TriNet Again.

As a person in the brand building business, outsourcing has never been a favorite business practice. Companies that have a powerful brand strategy can only make it more so by letting that strategy infuse throughout every department, touching every function.  That said, I do see how agile companies, especially startups and fast growers, can benefit by keeping their eyes on the prize

It is for this reason that I have been a fan of TriNet, a proud and accomplished provider of administrative and HR function as an outsourced offering.  These guys do chicken right.

Except for advertising. 

This weekend they broke a big ad in The New York Times. “Incredible starts here” is the new company tagline. The headline spans 2-pages in the form of a neon sign spelling the word “incredible.”  The copy offers time tested generic claims such as “tailor the right solution that fits your industry needs” and lots of other junior copywriter text.

This is an example of a smart company making ads sans brand strategy. Ads without brand strategy are dangerous. Incredible this effort isn’t.

Quick, close your eyes and think of incredible companies. Who comes to mind? Apple? Google? Claim and proof build brands. Where’s the proof?

Peace.

 

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