In the good ol’ days of advertising, brands used to hang their hats on a singular product feature or consumer insight, claiming they were the best and there was nothing more to it. Today, consumers are far too savvy to buy into that. They are doing their research, reading labels and product reviews, scanning ingredients, and carefully selecting the products and services they associate themselves with. Now more than ever, consumers (think millennials) want brands to authentically align with their lifestyle and values, whether it’s their afternoon snack or their neighborhood bank.
So, how do you distinguish your brand and make a relevant connection with your consumer? A well thought-out strategy that encompasses your consumer, competitors and the current market is key.
First, take a long, hard look at who you’re marketing to and make certain you’re speaking their language. Want those millennial dollars? You better be practicing socially responsible marketing and sustainable business practices. According to Nielsen, 73% of global Millennials are willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings and according to Cone Communications 91% of millennials would switch brands to one associated with a good cause. Beyond their age, get to know your consumer like you would a friend. What media do they consume? Are they city dwellers or squatting in the suburbs? What stores do they frequent? Developing your target consumer will help you unearth key insights about what they are looking for in a brand like yours. Better yet, ask them. Survey your consumer and get the facts straight from the horse’s mouth.
Aside from digging into who your consumer really is, you have to understand your brand as it’s perceived. Sounds like a no brainer, right? Assessing your brand with unbiased eyes is necessary and sometimes requires some outside perspective. Think about your company’s values and mission. Where do you stand in the marketplace? Who are your competitors? Your employees, vendors, distributors and other partners will help you answer these questions. Listen to them and take everything they say into consideration. Their answers may validate what you already knew, or could even bring some discrepancies to the surface.
The Common Ground
Once you understand the ins and outs of your brand and your consumer, connect all of the dots and find the emotional, relevant connection between the two. It’s this connection that sets you apart from the competition and is the core reason your consumer chooses you time and time again. At Popskull, we call this sweet spot between what the client offers and what their target wants the Common Ground.
Whether your strategy points you in a new communication direction or validates the current one, you will be able to get your internal and creative teams on the same page and confidently move forward in the right direction. Moreover, a targeted strategy can open your business up to new opportunities to serve your customers by truly understanding how you connect with them.
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