Advertising is expensive. When advertising does not produce measurable results (sales), it is even more expensive. What’s really expensive is having a boring brand. Word-of-mouth provocateur Andy Sernovtiz says it best:
“Advertising is the price you pay for being boring”.
Being boring is one of the hidden costs of business. It means that you have to bludgeon/advertise to generate response from the marketplace. It usually means you have to provide discounts or deals to move people to buy. It means you have to work unnecessarily hard to find and keep the right people (both employees and customers).
Beneath all of that is the most potentially fatal hidden cost of being boring … it means you probably have a product/service/idea that people don’t want. As such, you have to create a false demand in the marketplace. You have to over-promote. You have to over-inflate value (or need). Even worse, it means no word-of-mouth. No excitement.
That’s why a brand starts not with your message or your marketing plan but your core idea. Bottom line: Make stuff people want. Solve a problem. Create something truly different. Deliver an amazing experience. Then maybe you can consider advertising.