The truth is out there.
No one needs your brand, unless your brand can fulfill a need, a want, or a desire. This is the defining reality of 21st century marketing.
No one needs your brand, unless your brand can fulfill a need, a want, or a desire.
For the past number of years, ad blocking software has been topical. While the software hasn’t negatively impacted in the manner some had predicted, it is symptomatic of a wider trend: consumers ignore most ads.
A Core Media tracking study suggests that the average Irish person is exposed around 370 ads a day, and that figure is rising. Amid so much noise, it is becoming increasingly difficult for advertising to cut through.
Advertisers have a choice: buy their way through the din, or stand-out by meeting a need, a want or a desire.
In previous decades, this wasn’t an issue. There was limited clutter, but also limited brand choice. A brand’s size, and its frequency, could sell to a trusting public. Now noise, choice and scepticism are on an upward trend.
This presents advertisers with a choice. They can buy their way through the din, or stand-out by meeting a need, a want or a desire.
That need can be met with communications or with product development, but it must be based on genuine consumer insight, and must be delivered in an emotionally powerful way.
Some brands have been inspirational in how they addressed this challenge.
Amazon launched (not so) whacky technology
Amazon delivery drones have nearly become a cliché. In 2013, their CEO Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon Prime Air would deliver parcels directly to customers by drone within 30 minutes. The accompanying videos were compelling, but it all seemed a bit far fetched.
But it’s not just a gimmick. Amazon has been genuinely investing in the potential of drones – the first real drone delivery happened in 2016 – but the reality is still a years away. Yet, what this initiative did was helped Amazon cut through the clutter. Talking about their cutting edge technology generated mountains of earned media. It enabled Amazon to talk about its brand in a new, compelling way.
Drones may not be delivering parcels in Ireland anytime soon, but the campaign made us aware of their other technologies – 24-hour delivery, predictive logistics, Amazon Dash – all reinforcing the perception that Amazon the brand makes everyone’s life easier.
Marabou created new occasions
Danish chocolate brand, Marabou, were experiencing flagging sales due to changing consumer attitudes, the recession and a new sugar tax. They also realised people need some kind of occasion to justify eating what still is an indulgence. To counter this, they went back to a simple truth about chocolate: people use it to say sorry.
With this powerful insight, their strategy concentrated on creating new occasions for people to buy Marabou. They created new packaging imprinted with 6,000 different, crowdsourced different excuses/reasons to say sorry and built huge social media engagement. The campaign achieved a 24% uplift in sales of Marabou.
Snickers used culture as a channel
In 2009, Snickers was losing global market share. Healthier consumer attitudes to food were impacting their sales. They needed to regain market share and knew that pursuing brand ‘fame’ as a strategic objective could help achieve this. But fame is a fickle beast – to become famous, you have to give people a reason to make you part of their culture. Snickers also knew they had to give consumers a new reason to eat a Snickers.
To achieve the global growth they wanted, they needed to tap into something universal – that people don’t feel themselves when they’re hungry. Their strategy tapped into culture with comedic scenarios featuring still-loved stars of bygone decades, leveraging their people’s love for them – their ‘cultural equity’. Their adaptive strategy enabled Stickers to take advantage of the zeitgeist, using culture as their channel to connect with peckish consumers.
The campaign’s appeal crossed many continents, reversing their market share decline and grabbing a genuine share of culture. We love this Australian iteration with the man himself, Alf Stewart from Home and Away. Flaymin’ mongrels!
These campaigns show the way for brands and for businesses to meet the needs, desires and wants of 21st century consumers, and cut through the clutter.
For Amazon, it’s using advanced technology to cut through and convince people Amazon is the easiest and best way to shop. For Marabou, it was using your own packaging as a medium to create new occasions to buy their chocolate. And Snickers used culture itself as a channel to connect with a wider audience.
A version of this article appeared in Core Media’s Outlook 2017 report.