I am sick of marketing. Yes- this is coming from a marketer.
Did you know the average human sees about 10,000 adverts a day? Buy Now. Learn More. We don’t want to. We, as consumers are exhausted.
And yet, marketing keeps beating the same drum: more ads, more social media posts, more emails. Let’s be honest with ourselves, is this how we like to buy?
In the wake of digital marketing, automation and AI we are missing the MOST crucial piece of the puzzle: humans. We are talking to real people. People with struggles, joys, needs, wants and frustrations. Somewhere along the line we started thinking metrics and content were king- but the real king, queen and whole royal family of marketing is and has always been people. Our customers, our employees, our investors. The people we impact with what it is we do.
I wanted to write this article to get us back to what I like to call “brand truths.” And no, this does not refer to an element of brand strategy. I mean the things that are unequivocally real about brands today. Take away all the fancy terms and buzzwords. All the clutter clogging up the internet and our minds. What’s left? Truth. So, without further adieu, here are my 3 brand truths:
- Making things people want is greater than making people want things. Great marketing STARTS with your offering. Its not an attempt to force a message out into the world. We have all seen the quick flash-in-the-pan successes of companies that ultimately collapsed because they weren’t focused on their audience. They were just putting out what they wanted to sell. A business is a relationship. And like any relationship, if you are solely focused on your needs alone, you are going to find yourself alone in the long run. GREAT brands start with customer needs. Being attuned to what interests them, what keeps them up at night, what would make their lives easier. They evolve and change over time with those shifting needs. And they become the brands we admire and are loyal to because they understand us. They ‘get’ it. Great brands attract customers, they don’t need to chase them down.
- Our customers are the main character, our brand is the supporting character. All too often I see brand ego. ‘We’re the best, they should buy from us.’ Ick. Customers don’t need us. They have options. And let’s be honest with ourselves, they’re not excited about your brand- they are excited about what your brand does for them. How it makes them feel. How it helps them fit in or stand out. Succeed. At the end of the day, however, their reflection is focused on them, your brand comes secondary- if at all. Example: I had such a great time at the BRIT Awards, I loved my dress so much, it was Valentino. My Mom beat Cancer, she comes home tomorrow- the doctors at St Thomas’ were amazing. The shining stars are the people. Your brand is secondary. There is power in embracing this and making your customer the star.
- People buy based on beliefs. The best way to communicate our beliefs is to tell our story. What do we as a brand believe? And why does it matter? Research shows some of the most powerful branding and marketing is tied into culture and belief systems. Does this mean we exploit this to better sell our offerings? No. It means we start asking the right questions. We had a belief when we started our business, which was why we created it. What did we believe? Our product or service was an outcome of that belief, are they still aligned? What about our customers beliefs? They are working with us because they beliefs are aligned, so what is it they believe? Where are there similarities and/or differences? If you don’t know the answer, ask them. Make them part of the conversation. Get to know the people that buy from you. On a final note: how do we actualize our beliefs? We tell the story- about our brand, our industry and our clients. We invite customers to be part of our brand. To grow and evolve with us. To truly create a meaningful experience.
I intentionally started with 3 beliefs so I could give you room to add.
Because, while I am a marketing expert, we are all consumers and therefore all have a point of view on brand truths.
I invite you to share and be part of a movement toward more meaningful and impactful marketing. More than the metaverse or AI- this is the future of marketing. People who can connect with people. That is how you transform your business.
If you’re interested in learning more about applying brand truths and applying a divergent approach to differentiate your brand, book a consulting call today. I would love to chat.