Friday, November 03, 2017

Negative Marketing Is the Cry of Failure

The dog training world is a cesspit of resentments, jealousies, and contrived controversies.

Folks who were wearing short pants and just learning to shave when other trainers were holding seminars and changing history, are pretty sure they have the newest and best stuff, and why won't the world pay attention and respect their authority?

It's all a bit tiring, and it's also a bit counterproductive as far as advertising goes.

Negative marketing sets up a frame in which the negative advertiser is displaying his or her frustrations and failures.

Here's a hint: If your product or service is really great, you don't have to spend time criticizing your competitors.  After all, if their product, service, or system doesn't work, that will become self-evident. People are smart, and when that happens, they will draw their own conclusions and spread the message among themselves.

Have you noticed that great and successful service and product vendors never go negative?

Could you imagine an advertisement for Tiffany's denouncing "tired, dull, flawed, and listless diamonds from Jared?"  Of course not.  Typically, it’s the underdog who is criticizing the top dog.

Do you want to look like the failing underdog? Think about that -- do you want to announce you are losing in the marketplace of goods, services, and ideas?

And what are you really saying when you go negative? The deep message that you are unconsciously telegraphing is that you think all of your potential customers are stupid. 

  • Why did you buy Brand X, which is never as good or reliable as Brand Z? Are you that hazy, lazy, or crazy?
  • My god, are you so ignorant that you don't even know how to train a dog? Are you that stupid? Are you one of those cruel owners, or are you one of those weak-willed, low-standards people who still can't get it done?  Go on now; which one are you??


Jennifer said...

Completely agree when it comes to dog training. Not so clear when it comes to power. I applaud anti-Trump, and don't think anti-war (Vietnam) or anti-apartheid was ill-directed...not to mention causes before my time, like anti-slavery and anti- fascist (during WWII).

Unknown said...

Who are the really good dog trainers? Just curious.

PBurns said...

You market goods and services. The term is not generally used when talking about politics, slavery, or racism.

PBurns said...

There are a LOT of very good trainers. The mark of a good trainer, in my opinion, is that they know multiple ways to do the same thing, they know how to STOP a behavior quickly without a long and expensive wind-up, and they are doing more than trick training (which is very fun, but almost never actually needed). A good trainer can give you the history of training from 1750 to today, and will probably not criticize any of it because so much of it worked then and now. A good trainer is not claiming they are scientist, and they are not running down other trainers. Many trainers specialize in a certain kind of training, for bird dogs, for retrievers, for schutzhund, for basic obedience, sheep herding, to stop unwanted behaviors, etc.

Many folks who claim to be trainers actually have very little experience outside of the dog walking and click-and-treat world. They get away with claiming to be a dog trainer because the field is entirely unlicensed, is cheap to start as a business, and the term generally means "I know a little more than the walk-in Pet Smart clients I sell my services to."