Twenty years ago, David Ogilvy was asked by Fortune Magazine for advice on building and running a business. Ogilvy gave her the following answer:
1. Remember that Abraham Lincoln spoke of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He left out the pursuit of profit.
2. Remember the old Scottish motto: “Be happy while you’re living, for you are a long time dead.”
3. If you have to reduce your company’s payroll, don’t fire your people until you have cut your compensation and the compensation of your big-shots.
4. Define your corporate culture and your principles of management in writing. Don’t delegate this to a committee. Search all the parks in all your cities. You’ll find no statues of committees.
5. Stop cutting the quality of your products in search of bigger margins. The consumer always notices — and punishes you.
6. Never spend money on advertising which does not sell.
7. Bear in mind that the consumer is not a moron. She is your wife. Do not insult her intelligence.
David Ogilvy, Charleston, November 15, 1991
His words are as relevant today as they were then. Ultimately, he was always focused on the consumer and connecting with them – the basics of branding.
How would he handle the new tools available for connection? I think he would love it. He would realize that he could use the tools to learn more about the consumer than ever before and more importantly he could build a bond with them.
* Four Steps to Make Ads More Effective (entrepreneur.com)
* What Real ‘Mad Men’ Did, and Didn’t Do (online.wsj.com)