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Marketing: mix strategy with creativity

Written by Mikula Ristic - 9 aug 2023

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Mikula Ristic

Digital Brand Expert

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Do you ever overthink in marketing? Well, it is quite common. Overthinking is a marketing trap! In this article we will explain why it is important to combine strategy with creativity. And when you have something good, you need to go!

To explain why overthinking can be a bad thing in marketing, we want to make a case out of Zwitsal. Just as an example. Zwitsal is a Dutch brand and part of the Unilever company. Zwitsal sells products for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and mothers. 

Strategy | Baby Zwitsal product as example

In the picture we can see a soap free douche gel for babies with sensitive skin. The text is in Dutch, because this is a well-known Dutch product. But the important texts will be translated when we dive into that. The baby that is drawn, is happily sitting next to a seal. With lovely hearts floating around them.

Let’s switch back to the overthinker. The logical mind of a critical thinking marketeer would be questioning the image of the seal on the product.

First of all it raises many questions: 

What has a seal to do with our strategy? The seal is cute, but quite unrelated. Zwitsal’s positioning is based on understanding the parents. Zwitsal shifted from ‘knowing’ what they go through, to ‘understanding’ what they go through.

Why do we compare baby skin with seal skin? I mean, the seal is adorable. But is the skin of a seal really that soft? I thought seal skins were fat, hairy and often used for rugs.

Do we want to picture animals on products that people are afraid will be tested on animals? And the text ‘dermatologically tested’ positioned underneath the picture of the seal… This might stir the thoughts about a potential link with animal testing, that’s not there. 

Critical marketers who focus on strategy solely and overthink any step, might conclude that it will be better to skip the seal.

Okay, let’s hop into the mind of the buyer. The parent, mostly the mother, is walking in a drugstore. Seeking for soft gels for her baby’s sensitive skin. Would she think about all the questions above?

Nah, of course not. She is interested in good products with a familiar branding that looks nice and grabs her attention. And she is willing to pay for it. Zwitsal is the bulls-eye here. And what about the seal? Mieke (the Zwitsal baby) with the famous crest next to a baby seal is stealing her attention. And her heart too. And that’s exactly what we need to happen for baby products. 

The seal is just a creative touch. To a well established brand with a solid strategy. And it works.

In conclusion, your brand needs a good and solid strategy. At first. And when your strategy is all worked out, critical thinking is still a good thing. But overthinking is a trap. You start seeing a lot of danger, while your thoughts need to see potential too. Don’t let it get in the way of the creative. Mix strategy with creativity. And then: GO!

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