Written by: Shane Wolfsmith
It’s a strange time in the world of marketing. Digital technology has changed the way consumers behave, while the content marketing era has changed the way brands engage—and it’s all happening at lightning speed.
Let’s stop kidding ourselves. The fact is, most people don’t care if brands exist. Worldwide, the majority of people wouldn’t blink if 73% of brands disappeared overnight. People care about what brands do and who they are, versus what they have to sell or offer. Brands need to extend their value with content that feels meaningful, that people can act on and that makes them feel smarter and more interesting for having read or shared it.
On-demand brands. The strategy of interruption doesn’t work anymore. We can’t simply stop people in their tracks, present them with an idea and expect them to remember or care. There are too many other bright, shiny reasons out there for people to ignore, delete, fast-forward or click away.
Inclusion is key. With every brand trying to tell a story, the challenge is to build brand narratives around the people you’re trying to reach. Give them irresistible ways to become part of your story, add their own experiences to it and then spread the word.
Here are three instances of brands we think are getting it right.
Humor done well resonates.
Authenticity is key to building trust, and trust is a key ingredient to building a genuine relationship. If done right (and we admit it’s hard to do), a sure-fire way to create a connection to—and therefore interest in—your brand is to show your sense of humor. Inviting people to participate in an inside joke makes them feel like they get you, and they will appreciate that you’ve made them laugh.
Check out Newcastle’s approach to Super Bowl advertising this year, which has been well received by practically everyone. It let viewers in on the game it was playing and invited them to be accomplices. Last year, it successfully launched a (fake) commercial featuring actress Anna Kendrick. Comically ahead of the curve, Newcastle has already beaten every other brand to the punch with its funny and fitting ad for the 2016 Super Bowl. Yes—as in next year.
Invite people to tell their own stories.
Giving people something they can infuse with their own personalities and narratives creates an affinity for your brand in very powerful ways.
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