Not being single-minded: Moen

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

19 September 2014

A single message is better than two

I have told clients that a single mediocre idea is better than a basketful of great ideas. My point is to stress how important it is for a brand to be single-minded. Find the single most important thing you can say about your brand that causes a change to take place in the target audience. The accent is on single.

I did not say this is easy. Making decisions is one of the hardest parts of my job. As Picasso famously said, “Omission is a creative art”.

“Moen can’t decide on the highest emotional intensity.”

Remember Lite Beer from Miller? It started the light beer category but decided it was going to stand for two things. Great taste and less filling. I am betting that the brand’s fall from grace can be directly traced to its desire to mean more than one thing instead of making a decision.

Last night, I saw a new victim fall to the desire to be everything to everyone. Moen, the faucet people. It was advertising the kitchen faucet that turns on and off based upon a motion sensor. You know, a wave of the hand starts and stops the water flow.

Which one is it: The motion or the look?

Which one is it: The motion or the look?

Well, Moen sold the hell out of those features and benefits. The spot was well produced (reminded me a bit of Kohler, which was a bit of a shame) but then it ended it with its tag lines. Notice the accent on the plural. “Buy it for looks. Buy it for life.”

Moen can’t decide on the highest emotional intensity. Therefore, neither can we. At the end of the day, the prospect is left feeling the brand lacks confidence in what it means and that means we prefer “The Bold Look of Kohler.” Kohler made a decision and so has the consumer.

Well, maybe Moen can compete on price?

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