October 25, 2022
In many cases, businesses are focused on their ‘consumers’, referring to the people who are consuming their products or services, and they often forget to look at them as individuals that are experiencing varying life challenges and joys.
By focusing only on consumer consumption, businesses are missing an opportunity to provide value, information and empowerment to these individuals, who after these years of living in uncertainty are now seeking convenience, comfort, safety and sustainability from businesses and brands. So NOW is the time to add value to people’s lives, informing them, empowering them and inspiring them, to create long-term engagement.
So how do we engage emotionally with communities and its people?
Too many marketers use the word consumer and other ‘c’ words like customer, client etc by default defining them too narrowly in their thinking. The truth is, that when we talk about a consumer, we’re talking about somebody that’s in the act of consumption, but no matter what your brand, your category or business, that is only a fraction of what those people do and what they are feeling. What we should be doing, and what very successful brands are doing, is focus on people’s whole lives and their emotions and on what inspires.
Be real, not manufactured
The experience of these last few years has affected every person in so many different ways, but it did show us that overall, people really value authenticity. People are not looking for perfection, they are looking for real. You just have to look at the campaigns that have come out in the last couple of years where brands are talking to people in a real way, rather than some sort of manufactured piece of communication that has no emotion.
A good example of this is on Twitter where brands have set up customer service accounts to reply to peoples enquires and complaints. A lot of these brands are putting real people behind these accounts and this gives an authenticity and realness to the brand, and sometimes a bit of tongue in cheek.
Capture peoples interests and build a narrative
While it is important to not just label people as ‘consumers’, we need to go deeper and really understand them by understanding their interests at given points in time. Understanding what they want, what they value and finding a common ground to be able to talk to them, in a real way, will garner their attention and make campaigns even more effective.
Whilst this may be from 30 years ago, Nescafe in the UK created a brilliant series of ads that really captured people’s interest and imaginations by serialising the tale of two characters who bonded over their mutual love for coffee. This was a game changer for the company as it emotionally hooked the audience over 12 ads making it about the characters and their story.
Capture the imagination of a community
The last few years have inspired a lot of marketers to focus on community and this came at a time where for many brands there were no physical venues for their products or services, bringing to light the importance of finding a new way to connect to people when face to face interactions were prohibited.
Jägermeister did this beautifully in light of clubs, bars and pub being closured. Where other brands were asking people to come to them online, Jägermeister went to where their audiences were and took entertainment to them by creating a global entertainment platform using the hashtag #savethenight. This campaign saw a launch of a fund to support out of work creators and artists to maintain relationships with audiences by allowing audiences to book nightlife talent and provide entertainment during virtual lockdown parties.
Jägermeister were able to foster a more personal interaction with its target audience and create a more valuable experience for them in return.
It all comes down to developing a deep understanding of individuals
In order to truly release the potential of your brands and connect with your audience on a more meaningful level, you need to inspire change in the organisational behaviour of your people, from the executive team down to your individual teams.
Moving away from this ‘consumer’ focus to people focused conversations and communications, really getting under the hood and connecting with their values, finding out what their motivations are, what their beliefs and feelings are and putting yourself in their shoes to really understand them and then how you can bring your brand or service to them.
It is time to take advantage of this opportunity to unlock the potential for your brand, it is time to connect!