“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
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