Avoid Changing Horses in Mid-Stream

There is a wonderful campaign run by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in the UK.

I first noticed it in January 1995. I’d just arrived in London to help launch Results Accountants’ Systems in the UK.
 
Here I am being driven from Heathrow Airport to Central London when I see a huge (and I do mean H U G E) Yellow Billboard.
 
On it is written in equally huge writing:
 
It’s easier to sleep with a Chartered Accountant.
 
Talk about impact. But it wasn’t just impact on me. The number of letters this campaign generated to the national press in England was amazing. It probably even turned up in comedians’ lines, news bulletins, and so on.
 
And then, six months later they changed it.
 
What to? Well, I can’t tell you. Because I haven’t noticed it — nor has our Team in the UK reported any letters appearing in the Times!
 
So, the question we ask is obvious. Why change it? Or more particularly, why change something that is working brilliantly?
 
We suspect the answer to that is NOT the answer you’d give. If you’ve read through the prior articles, you know that MEASURING, MANAGING AND TESTING is the reason why they changed.
 
Wrong. They changed (like most other people) because they figured it was “time to change.”
 
In doing that, they fell into the trap into which many companies fall — change for change’s sake. It’s wrong!
 
Many companies indiscriminately change campaigns in mid-stream. In the process of that change they:
 
1.        Don’t allow the cumulative effect of a winning concept to work for them.
2.        Don’t allow the dynamics of testing to work for them.
3.        Make a patchwork quilt of their company’s image and position.
 
The truth is that you get tired of your own campaign long before it’s done its work out there in the marketplace.
 
Don’t arbitrarily abandon it. Only replace an approach when you’ve verified and validated a more successful and profitable successor. Again, that requires measurement, management, and testing.