Zimmerman’s Brandtailing. “The biggest problem marketers face today is connecting advertising to retail sales,” says former BBDO exec Bill Katz, as quoted by Ellen Neuborne in Business 2.0 (June 04). He adds:
Zimmerman & Partners, www.zadv.com, a relatively small Florida-based Omnicom agency that “is spearheading an industry shift by committing to improving a brand’s retail performance.”
Jordan calls his approach “brandtailing,” and it “has won the little agency ($148 million) “a long list of happy clients in Florida, and more recently, work for national advertisers like Nissan and Office Depot.” Brandtailing basically starts from a different place versus traditional advertising (or promotion, for that matter). It starts with the premise that the brand is only as good as the place that sells it. Take Miami Subs. When Jordan pitched the sandwich-chain, he and his team went into that meeting not with storyboards but with buckets and mops. Their message: “Clean up your stores!” They did — and backed by, yes, an ad campaign, Miami Subs saw its declining sales transformed into “average monthly sales gains of seven percent.”
A similarly retail-centric sensibility was brought to Fris Vodka Skandia. After hanging out in bars, it was clear that the high-end Vodka’s biggest problem was that no one knew how to pronounce “Fris” — so no one was ordering it. That issue was addressed — yes again — with an ad campaign (note: there may be some room for improvement here) featuring a “rhyming hint: “Just say Fris — Please.” Sales jumped 40 percent. Says Fris prez Don Hazlewood: “This is not how most agencies work.” One more thing that’s really important — Jordan Zimmerman actually provides a way to measure results. It’s a bit of proprietary software called ZTrac that “can link sales to individual ads” (at least when the ad has a phone number in it). The Florida Panthers hockey team (of which Jordan is a limited owner) used ZTrac to refine their newspaper and radio mix.