Good marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The best strategies come from paying close attention to what people care about, and how their needs change over time. In today’s consumer-led marketplace, it’s not enough to be the loudest, or the brand that spends the most. You need to show you’re listening the hardest, too.
These are trying times, and everyone’s looking for ways to feel more positive. We’re prioritising time with the people we love, and products we feel good about using. Brands should be thinking about their role in creating positive experiences. I think companies will shift more spend to the contexts and environments that make people happy.
Context is king—and brands should care about the emotional quality of where their brand shows up.
Build authentic connections
Authenticity helps you connect with people on a whole new level. It pushes you past standard brand building, and into what I like to call “bond building.”
In 2019, I think we’ll see more companies act on the values that matter to them. That doesn’t mean wading into every hot topic that makes the news. It means defining what your brand cares about, and living those values. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of the UK population believe a company’s values, actions and corporate reputation are just as important as its product attributes and features.
UK grocer, Waitrose & Partners excels at this. They’re all about helping people think more consciously about the products we consume, and they routinely invest in programmes to make this happen. Ahead of the 2018 festive season, they pledged to remove all use of glitter from all of their products by 2020 due to the growing concerns about the harm glitter causes the environment, and will replace all goods with plastic-free biodegradable alternatives. Waitrose & Partners are not just saying they care about people’s quality of life and the environment they live in – they’re showing it.
Lacoste is known for their iconic crocodile logo. But earlier this year, they swapped the croc for endangered species, releasing limited edition shirts that featured endangered animals. The collection got people talking about animal conservation, and sold out in 24 hours.
It’s a great example of taking something you care about as a brand, and using it to inspire your customers. In a recent study from Conran Design Group and emotion analytics company Adoreboard, Conran Design CEO Thom Newton highlighted that, “If meaningful interactions between brands and consumers are created, then far better outcomes are achieved for both,” he said. “By starting with human emotion, brands will be able to offer “more relevant content, products and digital experiences”. “Ultimately, this brings the brand closer to the needs of its patients” added Chris Johnston, CEO of Adoreboard.
People expect more from businesses these days: More purpose, more passion and a more powerful use of their impact. As you head into 2019, think about the ways that your brand can listen, speak up and build stronger bonds. I look forward to seeing what you do this year.
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