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Do you feel that your product or service is too boring for video? Does all of your video feel like a talking head explaining?

What’s wrong?

Whenever I go talk to companies about ideas for video there are two points of view that regularly come up:

  1. The company feels that their company image is far too important, serious and professional for video that is funny, cheesy or different from their usual content
  2. The company, although filled with passion for their product or service, feels it is too complicated or not exciting enough for video

Have you ever thought this way about a product or service you provide?

I will be the first to admit that some products or companies do need a little more creativity to find an engaging way to connect with their audience but the truth is…

All it takes is a shift in the way you think to open up a world of possibilities.

Electric camera patent 1977Kodak’s cock-up?

Back in 1975 Steven Sasson, an employee of Kodak, presented his latest invention to his bosses: the world’s first digital camera.

The camera was ahead of its time and needed a few years before the image quality was good enough “He was told that no one would ever want to look at images on a screen.”

In 1989 he and Robert Hills built the first DSLR digital camera and again took it to his bosses. They all agreed it was great but that selling it would ruin their sales figures on physical film (one of their big sellers). As a result the camera was never released. When was the last time you saw something made by Kodak? They used to be everywhere.

There is, as always, more to the story (check out some of the detail here), but what matters is that this was a defining moment that could have changed their fortunes.

If you don't cannibalise yourselfWhat’s the lesson?

There’s a number of lessons you can and the temptation to use the Steve Jobs quote that you should ‘cannibalise your business before someone else does’ is very tempting.

For me the takeaway from this story is this…

Kodak forgot that the product and what they sold were two different things.

What they sold was film: It went in cameras and allowed pictures to be taken, developed and printed (a process they had a near monopoly on).

Their products were the memories that taking pictures preserved. The film and the cameras were only tools to allow its customers to access this product.

Apple’s products are not phones or laptops. These are just the tools that enable Apple’s customers to access the real products (communication with the rest of the world, capturing memories, sharing moments etc.)

Both these companies have used this understanding in their marketing heavily (Kodak moment) but Kodak learnt this lesson to late and forgot to include this ethos throughout their decisions.

How to make your product sexy enough for video?

Don’t. You don’t need to. It is already sexy enough.

Ask yourself what your product truly is? Focus on the benefits that ‘what you sell’ gives your customers. How should your customers feel when they achieve whatever your product or service allows them to do?

That feeling. That benefit is your product.

“Your product is the feeling what you sell gives your customers”

Make your video, your content and your marketing about that.

Don’t forget – your customers are human

Finally, I have already blogged about the importance of using emotion to connect with your audience but it is worth remembering that your audience are human.

Whether you are in B2c or B2b your customers are not a business but the people that work in the business. No one goes home and binge watches a boxset of corporate communications.

So when you are thinking about making video and worried about your company image I understand the desire to stay on brand but remember who your customers really are and what your product truly is. Make content that reflects that.

And if your brand doesn’t match either your products or your customers you’ve got a bigger problem than you thought. Maybe it’s time to update your brand.

For more information about Smarter Video take a look here.

Please get in touch and let me know what you would like to learn or read about.

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