I guess you can tell from this blog entry title, I have been following too much political news lately. So dust off your American history and hang with me. The consumers have spoken… no mindshare taxation without brand representation!
The bombardment of advertising, content, advertorials, social media buzz, news, and customer stories, etc. We see information about brands all day long – some put together by the brand itself; some by loyal fans; some by consumers-done-wrong. But with the proliferation of social media and Web 3.0, brands have little to no say over what they stand for any longer. People discuss your brand, their experiences with your products, their friends’ experiences with your products, competitive product experiences, what this all means to them etc. at any time with nearly anyone.
Your brand stands for exactly what people say it stands for – period.
Forget the traditional branding briefs, value pillars and so on. All this is well and good for ideas, but if you do not allow people to participate in your brand identity and help shape it, do not expect to get mindshare or loyalty from them.
People want to have a relationship with a brand or product. To create a relationship with your customers your brand has to have things in common with them, create a lasting and evolving emotional connection and deliver value over time as well as receive value back to your brand. In short, your brand has to have a community relationship where your customers experience your brand in a unique way that is memorable to them. So embrace the community and enlist a little help from the New Hampshire state motto by adopting a “live free or die” approach to your brand. Let your brand be free from the confines of traditional marketing and the mindshare you garner may just surprise you.
For those of you that live in the land of metrics, scorecards and an infinite fear of the color red, this can all be very scary. But in reality people have always been this way. For all time, people have wanted connection with others for some reason or another. Now, however, people can connect seamlessly, constantly and universally if they choose. Whether your brand gets any of this connection opportunity or mindshare is entirely up to how your brand chooses to participate. Mindshare is a human characteristic. Thought, reasoning, perspective, feelings and emotional connection are what make us human so why shouldn’t your branding be human as well?
One of the best recent articles on the emerging view of human-centric marketing comes from the team at One to One Global. I recently came across an article Jeremi Karnell posted on MarketingProfs and was intrigued. He partnered with David LaPlante to produce a short presentation on the evolution of marketing from brand centric to customer centric to now human centric marketing. I have to say, the presentation is inspiring and well worth a look. Here are some of my favorite points (paraphrased)…
- To create a human approach (and therefore garner mindshare) your brand must have purpose. This goes beyond the traditional value pillars of a brand to include a variety of senses of purpose that your customers can experience in their own way.
- Be improvisational. Brands that are in the moment of a customer’s experience, sharing with the customer and receiving meaning back in return from the customer create the most lasting and valuable human connections.
- Be contextually relevant to create a human connection. Rather than build mounds and mounds of content, choose simple insights and examples that are delivered in a contextually relevant way to your customers so their experience is truly delightful. And remember to enlist help from your customers as to what these insights are and the context that is most memorable, from their point of view.
Your mindshare after all is highly valuable so why would you share it with a brand that did not value it? So take a break from all the political debate, fire up your favorite browser, grab your favorite summer beverage and be inspired. I hope you've enjoyed this post. You can read more at http://blog.katrinaklier.com/