The dictionary defines the word ‘moron’ as a person lacking in good judgment. Now don’t get me wrong here I am not saying you or anyone are morons but I will confirm I have met a few morons over the years.
Gary (named changed to save my life from certain assassination) would be defined in the dictionary as a moron or a person lacking in good judgment. He called me (because I’m not a moron but don’t ask my first wife’s opinion) to ask about branding, positioning and making his product standout from a mass of me-too same products.
His new product was a bodybuilding product that frankly had the pedigree to be a champion. It read and looked and sounded like a dead cert for me. I created a strong campaign on paper, made it look so different I guarantee anyone that saw it would pick up the tub, read the label and buy it simply because of the way I had created the look and feel for it.
It would have stood out from a crowded marketplace, no question. The label and brand we had designed - looked very different, modern and edgy. The tagline was power packed, fully loaded to sell. The strategy was sound and cost effective and had almost free placement built-in. Yet … The moron (sorry Gary who’s name isn’t Gary but has been changed) or person lacking in good judgment said NO to the package.
Our package was the most expensive and I will explain why and then I will explain why this new company went bust before they went live. After the initial conversation, I always ask my clients what are there expected outcomes from the campaign. These guys had spent a lot of invested cash into this project with a lot of flying back and to into different countries and a lot of planning, negotiating and all the usual stuff to be done to create a new business. They wanted to turnover two million in product in year one. That could be done easily with what we had in place. He rejected what we offered on two counts because … It was too different (he was looking for something almost the same as everyone else) He felt we would make too much money from the campaign (despite the pricing 5% commissions had been built in - with his approval).
Finally, when he called me he said… “Alan I have decided to go to someone much cheaper for two reasons. One they are cheaper and two they are asking for no commissions on top of the price. “OK great, good luck”, I replied.
Good luck was what he needed because his marketplace was so crowded he was going to struggle unless he did something different. Was he a moron or a person that makes a poor judgment as defined in the Webster’s dictionary?
Just over one year later I contacted him to see how it was going for his new business. It wasn’t going at all, in fact, they had folded and were trying to get new investors for a new launch of the same product with yet another new brand. I asked if the label had been done yet. He told me they have been on it for a few months now.
Sounded all very familiar. This is what I shall call just for today ‘Moronarketing” Here’s the thing.
OVER ONE MILLION pounds had already been invested by investors and now lost. Now they wanted a new investor while the old investors wanted their cash back (Russians and you don’t play with Russians). They had spent six months designing a label for the brand. YES I SAID SIX MONTHS. The brand looked like everything else in the marketplace it was a joke and now they were trying to repeat the whole pattern again.
I said to him “what do you think went wrong then” You know what he replied? He told me, It was just a case of poor judgment” I had to bite my tongue so not to say to him, “you mean a moronic decision”, I think I would definitely be out of the running for any future business if I had. Yet there are lessons to be learnt here.
Does cheap mean you save money or lose money?
Does allowing those that make poor judgments and decisions – morons – make sense in a world where everything is expected fast?
Does an awareness to repeat the same mistakes need to be absorbed into the business mind to prevent further losses and mistakes?
Finally … once a moron is identified within a business should he or she be allowed to continue to make moronic decisions? Obvious don’t you think?
Finally, I never said he was a moron, I never suggested he is a moron, I never even labeled him as a moron yet Webster’s dictionary for adults like me and you is very clear… ‘A moron is a person that makes poor judgments” It speaks for itself don’t you think?
I live my life loving others.
Yours in iconoclastic service.
Alan Forrest Smith
P.s I'd love to help you I am cheap when you consider your return for your investment with me. Morons need not apply!