Traditionally, marketing has been about grabbing attention and yelling your message in the audience’s faces. The entire advertising game over the decades has been built on recall-recall-recall, from radio jingles to TV ads over the decades. Fast forward to today, and no one gives a sh*t about your ads or your brands. Trust and loyalty must be earned. This is why many startups in the D2C space are competing with big brands, gaining more market share by being more authentic and closer to audiences.
Here are three truths from my experiences, if you want your brand to matter…
1. Define Your Brand DNA:
The fundamental ‘why’ you exist is way bigger than ‘what’ you do. What’s the big reason behind why you do what you do? If it’s just about making money, well, everyone is thinking the same, and audiences don’t give a damn about you trying to lure them. The ‘why’ must originate from how you intend to help and create an impact. And when you define your brand DNA, don’t put it on your wall or slide-decks.. live it.. across functions.. authentically.
2. Branding is Not About Recall:
Gone are the days of bombarding your audience’s eyeballs to drive recall. Everyone and their cousin have moved away from traditional media, so why are your concepts about brands lingering in the past? Branding today is about relevance, not recall. If everyone is spending way more time on their devices, that’s where the party is, and that’s where you need to matter, be relevant, and be part of conversations. The more conversations your content can start to be part of, the more you stay in their lives. It’s not about acquiring customers but building a relationship with them. So next time you review any marketing material going out.. ask.. what conversation will it start or be part of?
3. Don’t Create for the Brand:
Nobody gives a damn about your brand or how shiny your logo is. It’s only you who’s obsessed with it. The goal must be to create share-worthy content (in any form) for the audience. All your marketing must be about your audience and not about you. Not about your USP, not about five product features, not about clients and testimonials (all that works when someone comes looking for you, then it adds credibility). Anything you create in marketing, must be share-worthy, engagement-worthy, in their interest first. Experiment with the IUCTC framework (in the book), which is all about deep diving and getting to know your audience. Create to solve or celebrate the tiniest pain points of your audience, and your brand becomes the conduit through which the content flows, and you turn your audience into brand evangelists who take your content (brand along) to crazy distances.
Stop peddling your products and services in the name of marketing; Stop targeting the eye-balls and start connecting with their hearts, that’s where true engagement and love is.