Dan and Chip Heath, authors of the book, Made to Stick wrote an interesting post about moving beyond sentiment to the real thing. They tapped into a rising trend in branding that speaks to not only sentiment but action. It’s about what can we — as a brand — do for you, not just how can we make you feel; it’s about making your brand tangible.
To get you thinking about making it real, consider purchasing a car. You’ve seen the commercials, talked with friends and you have several cars you’re excited about. It is only when you step into the car and start driving do you know whether you can see yourself buying it. The same is true for other brands — you can make the experience tangible by putting your customer in the drivers seat.
Through cause-related initiatives, brands can make a real-world connection between consumer and brand. For instance, Tide has Loads of Hope–a program that assists families affected by disasters.
The Heath brothers suggest ways brands can turn an ephemeral feeling into a sustainable relationship by developing real impact. Bounce could have a bounce back from your lay off–where they help job seekers find work. Or Snuggle Bear could offer coats for children in need.
The large amount of brand choices available to consumers is making it difficult for brands to say, “me too.” It’s not about the “me brand” anymore. Consumers are not forced to watch ads or be bombarded with promotions. That’s why it’s increasingly important to make “our brands.” Consider TOMS Shoes. For every pair of shoes TOMS sells, a pair is donated to a person without. It is an “our brand.” TOMS is not self-serving nor do they bombard anyone with their message. If you want to become a part of the brand and make a difference, you’re welcome to enjoy the product.
Rolling out your marketing plan over the next year, consider not how you can blast your message to as many people as possible–instead consider how you can incorporate an audience in creating impact.
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