So last week I saw a wonderful documentary entitled The Naked Brand: The Future of Marketing. It was released just last year, and depicts accounts of several advertising and marketing professionals discussing the notion of corporate responsibility, and how it can add more value to a brand than ever before.
Here are some key insights I picked up.
Corporate responsibility is an incredibly valid form of advertising for companies.
The film describes two cases involving Chanel and Pepsi, respectively. As Chanel spent over $25 million on a television commercial, Pepsi only invested about $10 million into its Pepsi Refresh Project, which awarded millions of dollars in grants to individuals, businesses, and organizations for development of products and services to make the world a better place. Ultimately, Chanel’s advertisement did not even generate half of the social media engagement generated by the Pepsi Refresh Project. This illustrates the notion of consumers being more responsive towards responsible corporate initiatives, as opposed to hugely expensive visual stimuli. While such stimuli may be visually engaging, a company’s dedication to the betterment of the world establishes a more positive image of the company in the mind of its consumers, and is therefore just as effective advertising at a fraction of the cost.
A company can’t find consumers for its products anymore. Now, they have to find products for its consumers.
The American consumer landscape is constantly changing as generations change. In this way, a company needs to grow with its consumers by always keeping close watch on how they are reacting to its products, how they are engaging with its marketing initiatives, and how they are reacting to its competitor’s products. Furthermore, if a company maintains close contact with its consumers through new, inventive forms of digital and social media, it can better measure consumer response to the brand and how it should alter its product lines, if necessary.
Consumers can be the most powerful advocates or enemies of a brand.
As stated in the film, websites such as Amazon.com and Yelp are giving the consumer more power than ever before, in that they can essentially make or break a product’s sales performance by allowing the consumer to voice their opinions. If enough people write bad reviews about a product, it can almost instantly negatively impact the product’s sales. Inversely, if enough reviews are good, sales could boost practically overnight.
I can say that within my current position in a financial services firm, our marketing strategy is fermented around listening to our clients (and potential clients), and deciphering what insights or products they demand. From that, we work to suit their needs as best as possible because the client is at the heart of everything we do. Way, way back in my first post, I spoke about Brian Solis’ The End of Business As Usual, which speaks volumes about how consumers dictate the evolution of a brand while they themselves are evolving. If a brand can’t listen to what its customers are saying, and be open and honest in its relationship with its consumers…well, it’s doomed to fail. No matter what industry you’re in, you should be in the business of people. Because at the end of the day, if achievements, buildings, products, technologies are all taken away, people are all you’ve got left. Value your relationships with those who make your company tick on the outside.
But don’t forget about those on the inside, of course. 😉
You can watch this film via Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/video/the-naked-brand-the-future-of-marketing-wTo1reeNTNugBjR1Qj~gnA.html
Otherwise, I hope your summer’s going well! If you’re going to the beach soon, or you have a pool, jump in and take an extra swim for me. I’ve been deprived of that so far.
But hey, exactly one month from now, I’ll be done with grad school. 🙂