January 10, 2018
The term ‘consumer’ has been used over the last decades to identify the user of our brands. This is in fact an artefact of ancient history when in a simpler world we regressed to try to find easier ways to identify convenient targets for advertising strategies. Now that we begin to see the effect of technology on the attitudes and mind-set of individuals in our communities, we have to change the way we connect with them.
None of us want to be labelled as consumer, shopper or user, all the terms in marketing that we use to describe an apparently nameless, shapeless, emotionless entity, whose sole function is to be attracted by our brands communication and compelled to buy our products and services. These individuals are unique, each one of us has our own personality, loves, hates, lives, and passions and we hate that someone would seek to label us as one of a mass.
In building our brands, we have to recognise these individuals. We have to go beyond the demographic, the statistic, the facts and we have to dig down to understand why they may behave and act in certain ways and how they feel and value themselves, their friends and families, and the communities around them.
The recent political chaos that has broken all rules on who would vote in what way, is a great example of when even national government does not understand the people that it serves. As brands, we have a unique opportunity through technology and through deeper analysis and hypothesis, to bring to life the individuals that we seek to engage when developing a more emotional relationship with our organisation, our brands and our products and services. Ignoring them will consign us to the dustbin, whereas embracing them with all of their intricacies, nuance, and colour will allow us not only to mean something to our communities, but also to create the sense of purpose within our organisations. Not just to sell product, but to change and improve life.