Guerrilla Marketing

Jay Levinson The Father of Guerrilla Marketing

Although it seems like an oversimplification, the truth still is that 90 percent of life is attitude. Two people may have a lot in common, but one is always miserable and other always upbeat. The usual reason: attitude. Two companies may be similar in every way but one has a constant parade of new customers and the other is hurting for customers. Attitude is why.

You might offer award-winning quality and superlative service, but if your company is hesitant about marketing, your attitude may not be conveying your excellence. Since your attitude is the probably the first way you’ll be noticed, it’s crucial to have one and to let it sing out about you, loud and clear. It’s great that you have an attitude, but do your customers know it?

By far and away, your most potent method of communicating your attitude is through your marketing. If you don’t do much marketing, people will be unaware of your attitude no matter what it is. A private attitude is not going to make you profitable. You’ve got to go public with your attitude.

Begin by putting into writing your company’s identity — who you really are and what you really stand for. Even if you do a first-rate job of that, you’ve still got to let your public sense that attitude. They’ll sense it through your aggressiveness in the marketing arena. They’ll pick up on the fact that you’re proud of your company, that you really mean business, that you’re trying hard and that you’re a key player in your field.

That aggressive attitude will be clearly communicated through the visibility you gain with your marketing — in the mass media, in the direct media and online. If people see or hear of you all over the place, they can’t help but notice you and be aware of your attitude. When it’s time to make a purchase, they’ll be drawn to companies with an attitude far more than invisible companies that don’t express theirs.

Your attitude is also expressed by the professionalism of your marketing materials. If they look shabby, that shabbiness will become part of your attitude. If they look exciting and inspire confidence, that too will become part of your attitude. Each marketing weapon you employ will either contribute to or detract from that attitude. None are too insignificant to take anything but seriously.

The reach of your marketing also reflects your attitude. And so does the frequency. Your commitment to your marketing program also conveys your attitude. Your consistency does, too. If you keep switching around your media and your message, people will be unclear about your attitude other than thinking that you’re not sure of yourself. If you are consistent with your format and your identity, people will figure that you know what you’re all about — and that generates confidence. All guerrillas know that confidence in a seller influences a buyer more than any other factor.

Your attitude comes across by means of your offers, headlines, copy, graphics, typestyle, media selection and the execution of your marketing strategy. If people continue seeing and hearing about you, they well know your attitude. If you fade into the woodwork because you’re pulling back on your marketing, they forget your attitude. People forget marketing lightning fast and if you don’t stay at the forefront of their minds, somebody else will — somebody who realizes the power of attitude.

There are a large number of movie stars and rock stars who lack the sheer talent to succeed, but have the attitude. Madonna comes to mind. Bette Midler comes to mind. Bruce Willis comes to mind. Brooke Shields comes to mind. John Wayne sure had far more attitude than talent. And a lot more will come to your mind, especially politicians. These people have created, then capitalized upon their attitude so much that millions of folks think they also have an immense talent.

You sure can’t succeed on attitude only. You’ve also got to have something to back it up. But you certainly don’t always have to be the best. Marlboro may not be the best-tasting cigarette, but it certainly has the best attitude. Budweiser doesn’t win all the beer taste tests. But everybody knows its attitude. Many product category leaders succeed with attitude more than excellence, with attitude more than low price, with attitude more than lavish spending. All automobiles can get you from point A to point B, but some do it with a more stylish attitude.

Your attitude must come shining through in all of your marketing. And the attitude you express should be consistent from one medium to another. Cohesion is an ally of the guerrilla. That means all marketing weapons should be pulling in the same direction, expressing the same attitude, conveying the same identity.

Your attitude comes across by what you say, how you say it, where you say it and how frequently you say it. Even the world’s best attitude will lead to little but frustration if you aren’t out there communicating it. That’s why guerrillas rarely are out of their public’s eye. They go for impact with their marketing, but they also go for awareness. They know good and well that a share of mind leads to a share of market. They make up in a big attitude what they lack in a big marketing budget. And they are aware that the more they market, the better they are conveying their attitude.

A few questions for you to ask to yourself are:

  • What is my company’s attitude?
  • Does that attitude come across on a regular basis?
  • It that attitude different from my competitors?
  • Does that attitude accurately reflect my honest identity?
  • Are my customers aware of my attitude?

Just remember that most of life and all of marketing is attitude.

The Father of Guerrilla Marketing
Author, “Guerrilla Marketing” series of books
Named one of the 100 best business books ever written
Over 21 million sold; now in 62 languages

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Twice as many people buy to prevent loss than out of a desire for gain.


— For each person who wants more possibility, two want prevention and preservation.


— See what percentage of your marketing message is devoted to preventing loss. If you don’t see much; you should realize that two-thirds of the people who get your message don’t really read it. And if they don’t read it, they’re not likely to buy it.