“Philip Morris & Co. (now Altria) had originally introduced the Marlboro brand as a woman’s cigarette in 1924,” according to Wikipedia.
The thing that’s interesting for readers of this blog is that Phillip Morris’ team did it by employing a repeatable strategy.
It’s not a strategy that makes it all right to outright lie to your customers, but it is a strategy that you can employ for both great products and bad products.
And it was invented 2,300 years ago by a man named Aristotle.
Aristotle created the notion of the “syllogism,” or “deduction” as it is often translated from Aristotle’s Greek.
Here’s an excerpt from Aristotle’s Prior Analytics that defines “deduction.”
A deduction is speech (logos) in which, certain things having been supposed, something different from those supposed results of necessity because of their being so. (Prior Analytics I.2, 24b18–20)
– Quoted from The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
In last week’s web clinic, “Repeatable Brand Strategy,” Flint McGlaughlin explained it like this:
Aristotle’s syllogisms are at the heart of every successful brand strategy whether the creators are aware or not. Brands can leverage Aristotle’s idea of the syllogism to create a repeatable and successful brand strategy by creating what Flint calls a “virtual syllogism.”
By creating The Marlboro Man, Phillip Morris and Leo Burnett incidentally created the following virtual syllogism:
It seems simple, but it set Marlboro apart from their competitors who were still trying to highlight things like the “health benefits” of filters or flavors.
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~ Salvador Dali