Make Your Brand Bold, Clear, and Direct

Brant Kelsey / May 26, 2011

Larret Wright, principal of Roundtable, once told me, “Be B.C.D. with your marketing.. Bold, clear and direct.” It’s something that has stuck with me, and those words come rushing back when I see bold, clear, and direct messages from smart advertisers.

In this instance, I’m talking about Hyundai. They’re at it again.

In 2008, at the bleakest point in our recession, Hyundai’s “Assurance” campaign was bold enough to guarantee that if you bought one of their cars and lost your job, they would buy your car back from you. No penalties. No blemishes on your credit.

Pretty bold. Unmistakably direct.

What was their strategy?
In a market where most car companies brag about where the cars are made, luxury for less, or superior craftsmanship, Hyundai kept it real. They understood consumers, and what was important to their buying decision. Hyundai realized when people were in self-preservation mode and scared to make major purchases because of uncertainty. What did they do? They gave people a bit of “Assurance.”

No doubt it worked, being named 2009 Marketer of the Year by

Now they are back for more, with an even bolder offer. Hyundai’s new campaign: Guaranteed trade-in value. When you buy a Hyundai, they will guarantee, in writing, the amount you will receive at trade-in for that car (assuming you decide to buy another Hyundai).

In an era when getting maximum value for your dollar is paramount, Hyundai has proved to be bold once again, projecting the confidence in their product to the extent they believe the cars will hold a certain level of value at trade-in. They are “direct” in the fact that they are taking the questions and haggle out of determining the value of your car years from now.

What can we learn from Hyundai?

  • Be Bold.
    Use creativity and a new approach to selling your product or service in a way your customers may not be used to. Doing so immediately makes you stand out from the crowd. Offering a way to get out of a major purchase free and clear was a unique selling point that no other company could match.
  • Be Clear.
    “Assure” people what you are offering and how it benefits them. Don’t beat around the bush with a bunch of fine print. Shelf the trickery. Tell your customer exactly what you promise, then follow through. Hyundai is going to tell you up-front what your car is worth in four years. Guaranteed.
  • Be Direct.
    Understand your client, what makes them tick, and then move fast. Hyundai understood people weren’t necessarily looking for German engineering or the ultimate driving machine. They were simply worried about the uncertainty in the market and their jobs. Find out the pain points of your customers, and address it head on.

Sometimes you need to stick your neck out there and be bold, clear and direct. Your customers will take notice…and so will your competition.

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