Does your marketing suffer from O.L. Syndrome?
The other day, a friend told me about a sign she'd seen posted in a lampshade store. It read: "Don't Bring Your Shade -- Bring Your Lamp!"
How frustrating for the salespeople to see customer after customer coming through the door, toting their dusty, broken, misshapen, faded lampshades -- all in search of something better. Yet without the lamp, a customer can't "try on" the hundreds of new lampshades lined up on the shelves, each auditioning to be "the one."
So to all of you chuckling out there, let me ask you this: how many of you send your "old lampshades" to your ad agency?
I can't count how many times Maternal Instinct receives requests like this:
"Here's last year's brochure. It's okay. We want to update it and maybe add a paragraph about our new service."
This is an old lampshade.
So is this:
"Here's some copy we wrote for our website. Can you just spend an hour and make it better?"
So is this:
"Here's our most recent Web promotion that isn't getting great response. Can you make it zippier?"
All of these requests are symptoms of O.L. (Old Lampshade) Syndrome.
The cure is simple.
Give your ad agency your lamp. Allow them full access to your products, services, testimonials, complaints, team members. Let them steep in your brand. Then allow them the freedom to create the light and heat you pay them for. The very best work comes when clients bring an agency a challenge and say "solve this."
Those are my favorite two words in the English language.