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How Hanes & Dyson Are Winning By Naming The Problems They Solve

One of the most basic premises of marketing is that you need to be able to articulate the consumer need that you are solving. The problem is that sometimes this need and your solution for it is a complex story to tell. Where marketing fails is when the process of describing this need and your solution gets too complicated. When it wins, you have something that I call “getability.”

Getability is simply how easy an idea is for someone to immediately understand without a whole lot of explanation needed.
When your marketing has getability, it means that it is simple, clear and memorable. This matters for good reason. Marketing that is complex or confusing rarely works. To help their getability, two brands in particular are using a technique that may be worth considering when promoting your product or service … they are giving an ownable name to the problem they solve.

IMB_Dyson_Buffetting The recent marketing from Dyson around their new Air Multiplier fan is one great example – it introduces the idea of “buffeting” and talks about how all fans except for the new Dyson buffet (or chop) the air before circulating it. I have no idea if buffeting is a real scientific thing or not. It sounds real enough, but that hardly matters. In an instant, as a consumer I understand not only what it is, but also how my life up until today might be less than optimal because of the buffeted air my fans are throwing on me. When I am ready to rid my life of unwanted buffeting, Dyson has the product for me.

IMB_Hanes_BaconCollar2 Hanes is also using this technique as part of their new campaign for their line of logically named “Lay Flat Collar T-shirts.” With Michael Jordan as their spokesperson, their TV ads show humorous situations where they point to a man who’s undershirt collar is all bunched up like bacon and refer to the phenomenon as “baconing.” I never heard the term before, and yet once again I understand immediately what it means. Baconing has getability and Hanes has solved the problem with their shirts. Now all I need them to do is find me a solution for the midbutton problem.

  • Jeremy Meyers

    That has the ring of truthiness to it.

    So wait, your answer to brands making an impact is for them to make up words? Okay…

  • Jonathan Burg

    Great point. Marketers have long been solving needs, and great communicators have long been creating them.

    I never knew I had a buffeting problem or a baconing problem. But then again, before the iPad I didn’t know that limited access from the couch was such a big deal. And before Flavor Grove I didn’t know that my nutty snacks lacked kick.

    If innovation is the delivery of tomorrow solution today, before we identify a problem, it is so because the creative solutions magnifies the need.

  • fermata

    well, besides the fact that it should be LIE flat…

    I’d also say that bunched-up collars hardly qualifies as a complex concept. And “baconing” makes my stomach turn. Bleah.

  • Tracy

    Lots of truth to this post, it is much easier to sell people on one made-up word rather than having to explain why one needs to buy a tag-less shirt or bladeless fan. By the way has anyone used the fan yet? Any buffeting?

  • Allan

    What problem does Ogilvy solve? Nice post thanks.