By Sue Brady
What a great series Breaking Bad was. Vince Gilligan is genius. Basking in the after-glow of such a great season finale made me consider the marketing lessons that could be learned from Vince, Walt and the gang.
And so I bring you my 10 top Breaking Bad Marketing Lessons:
- Know your customer and give them what they want. Vince Gilligan’s customers were his viewing audience, and he couldn’t have delivered a better product. Lydia’s customers wanted purity and when she could deliver, they would pay top dollar.
- Understand your competition, and make sure your product is better. This will create demand for your product. Deliver quality, always. If your product slips, your buyers will not be happy. Gus sized up the competition and exploited the Mexican Cartel’s weaknesses for his own gain.
- Make sure your product has a unique selling proposition to drive its success. Walt’s was product purity. What’s yours?
- Don’t let emotion drive your strategy. Todd let emotion drive his desire to continue doing business with Lydia, and in the end that was his downfall. Clearly Walt’s ego was his downfall, right down to his final realization that he was doing ‘all this’ for himself, not his family.
- Take pride in and promote your brand with consistency. Have an A-1 Day!
- Learn from your mistakes. Walt and Jesse first tried to enter the drug trade using three of Jesse’s non-professional pals. Quickly they realized that their operation could be more sophisticated and profitable, so they moved onto bigger game.
- Always have a plan and be prepared to adjust. Gus and Walt always had plans, and anticipated what might happen. They also had contingency plans that they were not afraid to execute. Some plans can be implemented flawlessly, but most require adjustments along the way.
- Know what’s important and focus your energy there. Walt focused on two things: Purity of the cook and the payoff. He could control the purity so that became routine for him. And his battle to control his payoff became the crux of almost every action he took.
- Try new things (test, test, test), but make sure you control your environment. Environmental control was key in Walt’s lab (remember the fly episode), just as controlling outside factors is key in any marketing test.
- Love your job. “I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really—I was alive.” Walter White
“Buy the RV. We start tomorrow.”