Be authentic. It seems like such a fundamentally basic principle but I have watched as so many brands get it wrong. From choosing the wrong agency, to choosing the wrong celebrity spokesperson, or even choosing the wrong creative.
Every agency in the past year has focused their attention on disrupting the status quo by pushing the boundaries in hopes of gaining greater market share. Whether it be in advertising, sports, marketing, or retail, brands have been looking to be the next ‘disruptor’ or next great ‘storyteller’. They employ copywriters to tell a genetically modified version of their brand story as they desperately seek to fit in. The truth is that consumers aren’t looking for the disingenuous and often fickle brand that does whatever it takes to be the trending topic of the day. Consumers want the brand that tells the story of their humble beginning; the story of how an idea conceived in a basement became the next big thing. Consumers want the brand that reaches out to them on their birthday with a genuine, personalized message, not the simplistically generic “we hear it’s your birthday, so get 20% off”. More importantly consumers want the story of how that brand contributes to their culture.
As a consumer I say enough! Enough with the color corrected lenses (metaphorically speaking) that make consumers believe this product or brand shares their cultural beliefs and values. Consumers haven’t changed; they still consume. However, they have gotten smarter, more sophisticated, and more selective about their choices. Consumers want to be courted, indulged, and wowed by the essence of a brand. They no longer settle for a brand that’s “good enough” to fulfill their needs. They are willing to drive out of their way to find that missing piece of themselves; the brand that makes them feel whole.
Every brand has a unique story: Capture the story in its most authentic form and you will capture the consumer. They will be your brand story teller if you give them a story to tell.