Is Building Prestige Vainglorious?
I make all kinds of videos and films for clients. I have mostly made educational and corporate films in the last two years but there is still a proportion of my work which is taken up with producing marketing videos. When I first started out as a freelance film maker for hire, almost all of my work was producing marketing videos, and back in those days there was one overriding reason why clients wanted a video production, and it wasn’t to attract new customers.
Don’t get me wrong the videos were mostly targeted at potential customers but the clients just didn’t believe that the videos would work in that way. So why were they paying for productions? They bought a video production because they felt that they brought their companies prestige. They felt that they would stand out from their competitors and from their business friends because their company could afford a glossy video promo. Was this vanity at work? Was it pointless spending just so they could boast about their video at the next business network or the chamber of commerce? I don’t think so.
Why do people start businesses? Why did you start yours? I started mine because I wanted to control my destiny and because I wanted to build a good lifestyle for myself, from own efforts, without having the earnings from my creativity sapped to support a management class in some big company somewhere. I’m a bit bolshy that way. Everybody who starts a business has their own reasons but those themes of control and keeping what you earn are themes I hear again and again (perhaps I’m not nearly as unique as I like to think I am).
There is a third very common theme in the thinking of entrepreneurs, however, and that is the theme of prestige. It’s the “I made this” attitude. It’s the idea of being the self-made person and that there should be some recognition for this. That’s where prestige purchasing comes in. BUT this is NOT an exercise in empty vanity. Showing off the success of your business can be an extremely profitable business strategy.
Using Prestige As Successful Marketing
There is no doubt that a significant percentage of people want to buy from companies that they perceive to be successful. Why? Perhaps it’s the idea that a successful company must have a host of satisfied customers (how else would they become successful?) but we all know that isn’t necessarily so (I’m looking in your direction ******** deleted name of big mobile telecoms company). Another possible explanation lies in the psychology surrounding the idea of brand loyalty. Brand loyalty occurs for several reasons but one of the most bizarre is the idea that a particular brand is a signifier of a customer’s personality. That a brand is part of their tribal identity. When you think about it, it is bizarre that we identify with what we buy but Apple have built a behemoth of a company upon that very notion and you cannot argue with that kind of success. So the question is, why do their customers feel that the latest iPhone marks them out as something special when there are so many others that own the same product and when there are arguably better phones available from competitors? I’m not going to delve into the deep psychology surrounding this phenomenon but I will point to the prestige image and the tribal feeling of Apple’s extremely loyal customers as proof that a prestige based marketing strategy can work and work HUGE.Showing off the success of your business can be an extremely profitable business strategy. Click To Tweet
Using Video Marketing To Gain Prestige
You can use your video marketing to build the prestige of your business. This doesn’t have to be the exclusive purpose of any one video production but it needs to be considered and allowed to influence the planing stages of your video production. I’m going to give you three brief ideas on using video to build prestige.
- I mentioned earlier how for some small businesses just the act of having a marketing video is enough to enhance their prestige but as a business grows this is not the case. Having a channel with several videos may be a good enhancer but again that will not last. You need a regular flow of productions and the publicity that accompanies them AND you need at least some of your video channel content to be good. You can’t do this with your phone (even an iPhone 27 with a 300 megapixel 4D camera). You need some of your marketing videos to be professionally produced. You need something glossy, well lit, photographed with care and planned meticulously. In amongst the quantity there needs to be some quality too. So my first way to use your marketing video output to build prestige is to have a professional make you something great.
- My second concept is to copy. No I don’t mean copy, I mean steal. Picasso said “good artists copy, great artists steal”. I think what he meant was that a great artist will take the idea of another artist but then make it their own, inform it with their personality and make it better(but maybe he didn’t. Maybe he just meant you steal the best ideas and be shameless about it). You should find the best advert on TV and steal it. I don’t mean breach copyright. I mean take the style and the concept of a great advert and remake it for your business. Ideas cannot be copyrighted. Dialogue, music, actual footage are all covered by copyright law but ideas are not. Your viewers may know where the idea originated from. But they will also know what they imagine to be the vast amounts of cash (and they are vast) it takes to make a glossy TV advert and they will, somewhere in their subconscious, believe that you had enough cash to buy the same production. That means your company must be seriously successful… right?
- My third idea is the documentary. For your next marketing video, don’t make a marketing video. Have your video producer make a documentary about your business, no holds barred, fly on the wall, access all areas. Be open and honest and let them shoot whatever they want. The only stipulation should be that the film is made with the pretense that this is a genuine documentary, perhaps a pilot for a TV show, perhaps a TV show for some channel they have never heard of, perhaps for made for a documentary festival it doesn’t matter. Only two things matter with this production. The first is the idea that your business is interesting and famous enough to warrant a documentary. The second thing that matters is that your customers who choose to watch get to see what nice, ordinary, friendly, expert people you have working for you. I mentioned above about letting your producer shoot whatever they want, that may terrify you but this is vital as the documentary needs to stand up and be interesting in its own right. There needs to be a story and some drama to entice and hold the viewer. This will take time and money, let’s not pretend otherwise, but done right, it can make a medium size business seem like a multinational.
So this isn’t about building a prestige brand, that’s another thing all together, this is about gaining kudos, building reputation, developing a tribal affiliation among customers and making your business seem like the only option for “people in the know”.