John Hancock announced a new ad campaign called “Cursor” that showcases two areas: the rise of digital communications and the opportunity for financial success. It is trying to reintroduce the company to the public as a relevant and inspirational brand. Here’s how Jim Bacharach, vp-advertising at John Hancock described the campaign:
The thinking behind the campaign was to recognize where consumer sentiment is today. The unstable economy is a source of anxiety for a lot of folks. One of the key differences from what we’ve done in the past is that today, more than ever, these conversations take place through electronic media.
My take: Right below is the John Hancock homepage (from earlier this week). Other than the discussion of the new “Cursor” ad campaign in the lower right, is there anything about this page that reinforces the notion of relevance, inspiration, or digital conversations?
I didn’t bring this up to pick on John Hancock’s Website or even to discuss its repositioning efforts. Instead, I wanted to (re)make a point that advertising alone can not reposition a company.
While ad campaigns can certainly introduce new brand promises, repositioning can only occur of the company actually keeps those promises during all of its interactions. That’s why the second principle of Experience-Based Differentiation is: Reinforce the brand in every interaction, not just communications.
Without designing all touchpoints to fulfill the new brand promises, the hope for repositioning is likely to just lead to empty promises:
Probability Of Success For Branding Efforts
The bottom line: Don’t waste your marketing dollars on empty promises.