Yesterday while reading the Wall Street Journal online, I was asked a rather significant question:
Am I a good father?
That got me thinking. I aspire to be a good father to my three children. I try to be a good example. I help with homework, praise and encourage each kid, and help put food on the table. But then I work a lot, so I’m not home all the time. Sometimes I lose my patience when Charlie and Anna spend an entire day squabbling. I coached Anna’s soccer team last year, but I’m not sure that I did a very good job of it because I really don’t know much about soccer.
So I don’t know. I clicked on the question, which of course took me to a website for UBS, the Swiss banking giant. Apparently, the company can provide wealth management advice.
But I’m still stuck on the good father thing. Do I push the kids too much? Not enough? Should we hire a college counselor?
I would need a therapist to answer these questions.. Do they have those at UBS?
UBS raises a number of provocative questions in its new marketing campaign.
– Am I a good father?
– Will I be missed when I step back?
– Is my business growing fast enough?
– Can I truly make a difference?
The firm deserves credit for doing its homework; they clearly talked with clients and potential clients and uncovered deep insights. I suspect these really are some of the issues successful people struggle with.
The problem is that UBS doesn’t answer the questions in a credible way. Is UBS really going to help me work through my questions about being a good father? Will they help me understand whether or not I will be missed? No.
UBS demonstrates why great marketing is so hard. The team identified important insights, but they then used them in a clumsy manner. They are telling people, “We know you are worried about being a good father. Admit it. So let us invest your money.” It doesn’t really work.
Understanding an insight isn’t enough for successful marketing. You then have to use the insight in a savvy way to build your brand.
* * *
The next session of Kellogg on Branding is October 11 to 16 in Chicago. It should be a great week. If you want to learn more about building great brands, don’t miss it. Click here to learn more.
Excellent linking, Tim. I’m always seeing this kind of provocative marketing and it grabs you but then leaves you hanging and the effect is I am “mad” at the company. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t their intent …