Passion in Marketing


Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone. And hopefully you found a way to express your love and passion for those close to you.  But in the marketing world, the word passion, when used to tell the story of your brand, may actually interfere with the real truth of your brand.

There are “two main dangers that the word passion poses for brands,” writes my good friend and fellow Taan Worldwide member, Sean Duffy in a recent post on his blog

First, “the market could care less how badly I want to do something.  The market wants to know what problem my brand solves, how it is different from the options out there today and why that provides them with better value.”

Secondly, “declarations of passion are clichéd . . . the term has been repeated so often in the wrong context that the meaning has been wrung out of it along with any hope that it could differentiate those who profess it or their brands.”

I think there is actually a tactical truth to that which Sean professes. There is rarely a person involved in marketing, especially those in the creative side of this marketing world, who doesn’t have a passion for what they do.  Lord knows we aren’t in this business to become millionaires. (We’re all still depending on winning the lottery for that.)

But passion doesn’t necessarily win the agency a new client or the client a huge sale.  It’s the understanding of the problem and your solution to the prospect’s problem that generally is what wins the day.  The fact that you delivered your presentation or your RFP response in a way that displayed the passion you have for what you do or what you can provide the buyer with and what you believe in is, I think, part of the art of making the sale.

The passion you display helps the buyer understand who you are and what he/she can expect when doing business with you.  It isn’t really necessary to overload your brand positioning statement, your company vision and values, your brand essence (even your own bio) with the passion word.

Anyone can say they are passionate about what they and their fellow employees do. But it’s really how you bring that passion to life that counts — in how you present your story, how you do the work you promised and solve their problems that makes the true difference.  You won’t need to tell your prospect you are passionate, they will feel it, sense it and hopefully want more of it from you.

As Sean’s blog says: “My advice to marketers is to find your passion and fuel it.  The same for your brands.  But think twice about using it as a differentiator. In fact think twice about using the word at all.  If you are truly passionate it will be obvious to your audience.”

So don’t overuse the passion word in the story of your own brand. But definitely be passionate — in everyday life, to those you love and how you do your work.  Okay, time for a group hug.


Photo credit: Flickr:  Plot 58

One Response

  1. Bob,
    Group hug from Sweden to Chicago. You are a great example of someone who will never have to profess your passion for marketing because you live it and everyone who knows you knows that. Thanks for the shout out. – Sean

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