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  • Writer's pictureRandy DeMuesy

Your sales not moving? You may need to 'Man Up'.

Forgive the sexist-sounding tone of that headline, but ‘Manning Up’ relates to the first example of a brand looking beyond its product’s design and features and drilling down into what people really get out of using it.

As this entertaining four minute video explains, Marlboro was a woman’s cigarette until news about the link to cancer came out in the ‘50s. Then, while other cigarette makers were panicking and bumbling about their new filters, Marlboro made the key move of switching their target to men, but not before clarifying and utilizing the truth about how men wanted to see themselves … then using a bold new ‘lifestyle’ creative approach to deliver that truth in a potent, stirring, indelible way, transforming Marlboro into the number one preferred smoke to this day.

Give the video a watch. And if sales of your product or service isn’t up to snuff, be inspired to challenge yourself: “What meaning does my product truly have in my customer's life … and … what is my Marlboro Man?”

>>>An addendum: I’ve never been a smoker, yet I have a very fond memory of Marlboro: in 1972, at the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Parade in Canton, Ohio, the Marlboro Man himself came a’ridin’ down Whipple Avenue heroically perched—not atop a horse—but the back seat of the wide open convertible … when, suddenly, he locked eyes with a young kid standing next to a tree. He dropped his waving hand down long enough to make a pistol and take a ‘shot’ at the kid. I ducked, grinned, and ‘shot’ back. Ironically, though, in the end, it was the cigarettes that ended up hitting his chest and killing him.

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