Wait, What Does This Mean, and Why Should You Care?
Here’s the deal. At The Johnson Group, we see the “giant” as a challenge everyone is afraid to face and overcome. This giant comes in all forms: a shift in consumer brand perception; a new competitor; a culture shift; a tenured process; or a technology that has outlived its purpose. Traditionally, this “David and Goliath” story has been represented as an underdog situation. And yet nearly every time, we find it’s the perception of an insurmountable challenge that’s the true “giant” in the room. Yet, the giant challenge is easily solvable when armed with bravery, tenacity, and a creative partner agency.
How should you find your company’s giants and slay them? Here are some examples of how we have helped brands slay theirs.
The Challenge May Be the Best Differentiator.
Brainstorming problems is easy, right? We see them and call them out in a continuous loop as we go to work each day. The challenge is realizing some of those perceived challenges are actually opportunities.
One of our clients is a non-profit health system. Early in our partnership, we recognized that despite being the health system in the region most responsible for medical firsts and innovations, they weren’t getting credit for their leadership as the region’s elite healthcare resource. Nor was their stature as the region’s only teaching hospital appreciated as a cutting-edge and progressive provider delivering better patient outcomes.
Working as partners with our forward-thinking clients, we shifted the common consumer perception from “that public hospital I’d only choose for trauma” to that of an elite leader in healthcare. Along the way, the health system increased market share in virtually every service line, boosted primary and specialty practice volumes, and increased revenue-generating elective procedures year over year.
This health system’s perceived challenge was actually their superpower which made all other aspects superior.
Don’t Forget Your Product is the Brand.
In the effort to generate more sales, battle a new competitor, and attract a new audience, there is a tendency to forget why consumers were excited about the brand in the first place.
Consumers get excited about a square burger place because of the square burger. Not the salads, not the shakes, not the chicken sandwich. Yes, it may make sense to have these menu items for people like me, who want to join the square burger fans, but can’t eat the bread or the cheese and just want a salad (although I wish I could!). For many years we reminded the new owners what makes this brand so special — the square burger. And we work with them every year to make this burger the hero in every advertisement we create. Though inevitable dips in sales have occurred, we know the key is to consistently promote the product in our communications for the brand. The sales have always returned.
We made the product the hero, and its raving fans never disappointed us. (And along the way, we’ve maintained the longest agency relationship this QSR has ever had.)
Dig for Big.
No one likes being faced with a “caviar dreams and tuna fish budgets” situation. For many, this is an overwhelming obstacle. Yet, some of the best ideas are discovered when given the time to dig in.
A top consumer electronics company with “cool” in its name had a big challenge: launch in one market (Miami) and gain national attention. Impossible? No. We slay this giant with a simple solution: predict it would snow in Miami in the middle of the summer. Did you know only two companies in the nation could make it snow in Miami? Well, we found them, and we have pictures to prove it. We worked with this company to generate excitement leading to this event and created a full day of memorable experiences. Picture kids who had never seen snow before. Goosebumps, right?
If you believe something is impossible, look again.
At the start of my tenure here, one of my mandates was revising The Johnson Group’s brand positioning. In addition to “We are Giant Slayers,” two of The Johnson Group’s core values are “Invest in Yes” and “Dig for Big.” And maybe these statements are a bit cliché. And, of course, many agencies claim to do these things. Yet, these core values indeed permeate the essence of The Johnson Group and our team. As Barney in “How I Met Your Mother” would say, “Challenge Accepted!”
I just passed my 45-working-day mark, and my first presidential decision was to say, no need to touch this one as it isn’t broken.
We truly are Giant Slayers.
Teresa is passionate about how new media and technologies impact the overall customer experience and has been quoted in leading publications such as Harvard Business Review, USA Today, NPR, and Forbes. Her work has been recognized by leading awards such as Cannes Lions, Clio Awards, One Show, Effie Awards, and Radio Mercury. Teresa worked with leading Publicis Groupe agencies such as Razorfish and Moxie before joining the Johnson Group as President in 2022.