Do you think that your brand messages are falling on deaf ears? That consumers are overlooking the great features of your products and/or services? That the world is unfair?
If this is your internal dialogue or the narrative you are telling your team, then YOU, and not your consumers are the problem.
Just hear me out.
If you are not implementing the 5 strategies below, then it is no wonder why your consumers are tuning you out. Get your pen and paper ready to rate how your brand stacks up.
1. PERSONALISATION OF PRODUCTS & SERVICES
The pandemic has heightened the need for individuals to make meaningful emotional connections. These connections are not just predicated on interpersonal relationships but also reflected within consumer ecosystems.
Personalization of consumer products and services encourage individuals to trust brand messages especially if authentic value is being added to the consumer journey. Brands are standing out from their competitor's noise by learning the buyer's interests and producing content that meet those tastes.
2. SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT
It's not rocket science. Brands need to be seen and heard to make an impact. We are all gathered on various social media exchanging ideas and learning from one another. If your company has been reluctant to embrace this change, you will be left behind.
Don't be left behind. Develop your brand's social media presence and explore your target's engagement preferences.
3. RESEARCH, RESEARCH & MORE RESEARCH
What do you know about your consumer targets? Have you been mapping their cultural growth over the years? Do you understand their motivations to spend?
Effective marketing strategies are born from actionable consumer insights. Marketers should be employing buyer intent data to personalize ad messages, cultivate emotional connections with targets and reach a wider audience.
I guess the question that should be asked is - how are you planning to grow your business without consumer insights?
4. THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIPS
It is detrimental to your brand's health if you look at your target's buying habits in a singular fashion by product or industry. The same person who writes rave reviews online about their favourite brand of potato chips is also interested in a particular brand of cell phones and t-shirts. They may be the sole shopper for a household of 4-5 persons which means they can influence consumers who represent various demographies and consumption habits.
Subsequently, your brand's traditional AD can't reach everyone. How do you fill this gap? PARTNERSHIPS.
Boudet et al predicted in 2019 that "[c]onsumer goods, home-mechanics systems, automobiles, and a vast array of digitized devices will need to be part of a seamless experience for the consumer or risk being completely shut out". This prediction is even more relevant in our COVID-19 reality.
Partnerships should not only be with brands inside and outside of your industry but also with Macro & Micro Influencers, Social Interest Groups and Government Agencies. This type of relationship is similar to Out of Home (OOH) Advertising.
Traditional OOH Advertising never waited for the consumer to find the brand but implemented Ad placements in key physical locations where target groups socialized. Now that the physical world is being digitized, engaging in strategic partnerships is crucial to retaining cultural relevance with consumer-base.
It may seem like a cliché but a brand's authenticity does more to engineer consumer loyalty than any "gimmick". Of importance, is a company's ability to communicate their story and what they stand for. The inability of businesses to develop a strong brand voice which resonates with customers is connected to an inability to communicate "About Us".
A consumer's trust is tied to their ability to understand a brand and for that brand to continually meet their expectations. Authenticity is a necessary ingredient in one's brand story. People trust their surroundings less and less because of the trauma of the pandemic, the me-too movement, the black lives matter movement and a host of social and political upheavals that have completely transformed the fabric of society. Consumers are more and more dependent on the stability "authentic" products and services bring to their life.
More than this, their ability to cancel brands who do not live up to their brand promise or expectations provides a sense of power and control modern day consumers are lacking in the everyday.
WHAT'S THE SCORE?
So how did your brand stack up to the 5 points above? If you find that you have been unable to retain the attention of your customers or are out of touch with your targets, most likely your team needs to concentrate on developing one or more of these strategies.