Guest Post

Find Your Difference

by Jim Brown

As a marketer in today's tough economy, showcasing intrinsic value is crucial. As a company that sells automotive maintenance products, we've let people know what they can do to save money at the pump by providing them with maintenance tips; we've created videos that help them figure out how to do things themselves, and we're out there talking with consumers so that we can learn in real time what's truly important to them.

We found our nerve when we decided to be different than others in the category. For instance, on the FRAM brand, we were like most other advertisers in sharing a general message about oil filtration but never did we relate it to a much bigger theme — like engine protection. After talking with consumers though, we realized how critical it was to speak in terms they could really understand. So, we developed the first ever engine protection rating system for oil filters. It outlines exactly what protection benefits consumers get when they use our products and it's entirely different than what other marketers in the category are doing.

We are also a lot more active in the world of social media. It has changed the landscape of how we communicate, and cannot be ignored. So, we renovated the brand, took a closer look at who we target and launched a completely new campaign. And we engage our technical trainer, who is in the field living and breathing our technology and testing our products every day, to communicate on a one-on-one basis in online chatrooms and forums where people are talking about oil filtration, asking questions and searching for advice. This enables us to tell our quality story in an authentic and noncommercial way, and lets consumers know that we are listening and here to help.

It's really a very exciting time for marketers. There are more options than ever before to keep a brand or company in front of end users. You just have to be willing to try new things.

Jim Brown, Director of Marketing Services for Honeywell Consumer Products Group (maker of FRAM, Prestone and Autolite products)

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