Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Speedo Part 2

I wrote about Speedo only a month ago on how I was impressed that they had used real customer insight on women’s actual shapes to design a new range of swimwear.
Well I’m back this month on Speedo since the brand is unveiling a new pan-European campaign.

It will focus on personal relationships with swimmers, promoting Speedo as a brand that understands that every swimmer is different. So far so good. This ties in with a range that suits different types of bodies and suggests that the brand wants to reach all types of swimmers and bodies, not just those we traditionally associate with Speedo. That is to say the ultra sporty types who get a size smaller so that they can stretch their costume onto their bodies like an elastic band that is about to snap. You know – the type of costumes that for “normal” people, dig into your hips and make your legs look like jelly.

Then Speedo International Head of Marketing Communications Chris MacDonald goes on to say: “As the world’s leading swimwear brand, we understand the benefits that swimming for fitness and relaxation can bring. Our objective for this campaign is to engage with our consumers and explore their relationships with swimming. Speedo’s new brand campaign is striking, emotive and will prompt swimmers of all levels to talk about why they like to swim.”

Marketing speak anyone? “Engage with consumers”, “explore their relationships”, “talk about why they like to swim”. I am a practical marketer. That doesn’t mean I am not strategic but I like a brand to be straight forward in its promises to consumers and then deliver it flawlessly. I love lots of brands and still think they have a huge role to play in marketing, but when I hear this kind of speech, I groan because this type of statement gives us marketers a reputation for creating flowery concepts over long lunches.

What about the product Speedo? What are the costumes like? Why are they the best? Why should I trust your brand to get it right? Is your range super cool and fashionable? Or just really comfy? Or the best materials that make you go faster? Or the widest range, a costume to fit any shape or size?

Do you really care that my relationship with swimming is the following: I swim up and down my public pool to keep fit and I wear a costume occasionally on holiday.

Here’s an idea for you Speedo if you really want to engage with me as a customer – put money into cleaning up my public pool, the changing rooms are skanky. “Speedo cleans up public pools and makes swimming a better experience”. That will really please me. Oh and make a costume that looks good, fits well and keeps its elastic for a few months. Ta very much.

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