The stunning success of the California “Got Milk?” campaign is legendary, and the powerful slogan is now part of the American lexicon. While this kind of advertising accomplishment is exceptional, it’s not the exception; any brand can apply the same principles used to develop, launch and maintain a landmark campaign — or build name recognition for their business.
Here are some of the most valuable lessons from “Got Milk?”. They’re especially relevant for real estate professionals and investors looking to dominate their market, which our real estate signage solutions have been helping them to do for years:
- Make New Friends But Keep the Old. Focus first on keeping those who are brand-loyal, because they’re your best source of increased sales.
The California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) chose to target regular milk drinkers, who constituted more than two-thirds of the market and were already favorably disposed toward the product — and thus more open to influence, especially in the short-term.
Entice your existing customers with discount offers and specials before expending energy attracting new business.
- Be Candid. If you employ a “Candid Camera” approach to discover how consumers feel about your product or service, you’ll be able to develop strong brand positioning based on these insights.
The “Got Milk?” ad agency removed all the milk from company refrigerators, placed video cameras inside, and recorded employee reactions to discovering there was no milk. In another research study, consumers were asked to forgo milk for a week, then report back. Their stories provided fabulous fodder for future ad direction.
- Cozy Up. Find a strategy that speaks to the consumer’s heart — or stomach, or bank account — and go the distance with it.
When the CMPB tried to sell more milk based on its health value, people yawned. But when the CMPB heard what consumers were telling them — that food choices drive milk purchases — they came up with the winning “deprivation strategy”: chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches lost their cachet without the classic accompanying beverage.
- K-I-S-S (Keep It Super Simple). A great ad campaign that is too clever can lead to the opposite result from what you intend. Consumers must be able to easily grasp your message and understand what action you want them to take. This is where a powerful slogan is key.
In two words, “Got Milk?” functioned as a hook, a call to action and a take-away that could be adapted to a variety of placements. Think, “Got House?” if you’re a real estate professional, or “Got Lumber?” if you’re a builder.