by Bryan Boettger, Chief Creative Officer

Anyone that knows me knows I’m a big Clint Eastwood fan. By far, a favorite movie quote of mine is from Magnum Force: “A man’s got to know his limitations.” It’s an important quote in marketing because a brand has to both stretch its potential and also know its limitations. I love to push clients to try new things and take a chance, but you also have to be realistic about who/what your brand is, who your clients are and the perception equation between the two.

As an example, iTunes has the soundtrack for The Hangover (Yes, the quality movie where Ed Helms loses his tooth and a baby is found in a closet) available for sale — But, only for sale as a complete album. Consumers cannot purchase individual songs.

Apple knows the limitations of this soundtrack. Frankly, it’s not that good. But, it has some quality tracks on it from the movie. Songs custom from the movie that you can’t get anywhere else. Chances are fans of the movie will go ahead and drop the $9.99 to get the full album. However, if the individual tracks were available, it’s virtually guaranteed those same fans would only buy a couple tracks.

That’s smart marketing due to knowing the limitations of the product. Ideally, if you recognize the limitations, you try to better the product. If that’s not an option though, a business needs to make the best with what they have and not fool themselves by putting on blinders about their product(s). In the end, working with your limitations is always better than ignoring them.

Post Author

Bryan Boettger Bryan is Chief Creative Officer at The Buddy Group. He enjoys hikes along the shoreline, discussions about photo composition and holding hands with his favorite font (which he can't tell you or else the other fonts will get jealous). Follow him on Twitter @bboettger.

This post is the author's opinion and not necessarily that of The Buddy Group™ (unless it's about ice cream - they never disagree about that).

  • Brad

    But how many people will this turn away to just download those few tracks on their own? And is that fair to the artists on the album, especially those with the superior songs? Why must they suffer due to everyone else's lack of quality? Just playing Devil's Advocate. Not giving the consumer what they actually want never sounds like a good marketing strategy to me.

  • Bryan Boettger

    Not sure I understand your first three questions.

    But, regarding giving the consumer what they want: I totally agree. That's why I advocate knowing your limitations and fixing the product to make it better. But, in the meantime, you need to market smartly with the limitations in mind so that you can bring in revenue to fund the product enhancements.

    Thanks for the comments!

    -- Bryan

  • Brad

    I have a better idea. Let's say there are 3 good songs on the 10 song album. To buy the 3 songs would cost a little less than $4.00 (assume 1.29 each). Therefore, sell the album for $6.99. Therefore you get 7 mediocre songs, which just might be your favorites, for $2.99. That might move more product, as opposed to forcing the consumer to choose between the whole album or illegally downloading their favorites. Just my 2 cents.

  • Bryan Boettger

    That makes sense. I can definitely see that. And, falls in line with the theory that you have to work within your limitations!

    -- Bryan

  • Brad

    Check the reviews to verify that my opinion is not just mine.

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