4 Marketing Taboos You Should Break

Telling A Secret Shocked Gossip

In marketing, taboos may keep you from exploring creative avenues in your campaigns. We’re looking at four big marketing taboos, and giving you permission to break them.

#1 Use Whatever Colors You Want

T-mobile and neon pink – ‘nough said. Everything we know about “industry appropriate” color palettes says there’s absolutely no way a successful, corporate entity should be using neon pink as its primary color. But they are. Black and white imagery mixed with the incredibly vibrant pink is instantly recognized as a leading corporate brand.

So again I say – use whatever color you want! Be brave. Take risks. You might just stumble upon something that works really well, even if it breaks a few design rules.


#2 Controversial Marketing Gets Attention

Take a risk. Say something outrageous. Companies like GoDaddy and Victoria’s Secret are known for pushing boundaries. They’re not afraid of doing controversial things to get press. To be clear, I’m not talking about shock value marketing. Using specific four-letter words in your headline just to get attention comes across as lazy and un-creative.

Find a hot button topic related to your industry and build a social media campaign around it. Jump on a trending hashtag and figure out how to work your company or a service you offer into it.


#3 Call Out Your Competitors In Marketing Campaigns

If you’re doing something better than your competitors, say it! In recent years I’ve seen a lot of direct confrontation between competing brands. Miller vs Budweiser. Wendy’s vs McDonalds. Tide vs Purex. And the list goes on. If you do something better than someone else, shout it from the mountain tops. Don’t be shy in letting your clients, customers, or consumers know why they should choose you over your competitor.

While it’s OK to lure people away from your competition, I would stay away from running any kind of smear campaign. We get too much of that with the political campaigns that come around every four years.


#4 Copy Your Competition

If someone else is doing something that works, copy it. McDonald’s hasn’t stopped Burger King or Wendy’s from becoming Fortune 500 companies. Sometimes it’s good to take a look at your competitors and see if they’re doing something better than you. If they are, figure out if there’s a way to do it better.

To be clear, we are NOT talking about plagiarism here. It’s never OK to straight carbon copy someone else’s ideas. Instead, challenge yourself and your team to think creatively about implementing an idea that could produce growth.

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