It’s easy to create a social buzz for a name bands celebs do it through rabid fans to drive the online interest and the majors like coca-cola do it with smart marketing and trillions of ad dollars. However for the Brand Xs of the world, where most brands struggle to get noticed and break through the clutter of competitors with limited budgets, it is still possible to build the buzz for your brand – through social engagement and emotional capital.
Consumers are not necessarily looking for #1 as the savvy Avis Rent-a-Car company did so successfully in their campaign against Hertz. They were proud of being #2 and built their campaign around people rooting for the “underdog”. The harsh reality is that we are not #1s or 10s for that matter. Our reality is we are successful, carving out a business or social niche that enjoys peace and happiness (and of course paying the bills).
Consumers’ purchases are influenced more and more by word-of-mouth, not Madison Avenue. Here are three takeaways marketers employ to generate more buzz for the underserved brands:
1. Opinions Key Interest and Participation
Consumers want to engage a brand that asks for their opinion. They value their perspective and becoming willing participants with the brand. Research shows that 70% of consumers cite listening to feedback as the #1 reason they engage with a brand and can form a bond. This is what is called the Hawthorne Effect, where people involved with brand research become more committed as a result of the perceived importance of their answers. From a marketing standpoint, 64% when asked about things like style, flavors, product names and new products were highly likely to purchase that brand’s product.
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2. Connect Social Consciousness with Your Brand
Opinions a great for engagement, but brands should take this a step further connecting social responsibility with your brand. Consumers become more emotionally involved knowing that their brand of choice is wants to make this planet or community a better place. Brands must make a clear connection in the minds of consumers that they are doing their part to further humanity, contributing to society. Brands should advocate charitable giving and support of causes. In choosing which brand to buy, consumers will select the brand that they “know” gives! Connect the dots for the consumers. To drive the point home, Dawn soaps prioritized supporting wildlife in lieu of the BP oil catastrophe. Their corporate Facebook page had about 68K likes; their Wildlife page garnered 497K with social engagement off the charts because it was such an emotionally charged issue.
3. Give to Get
Consumers not only love the attention but respond to promotions to give them a chance to interact with the brand. Kleenex used social media to find 50 people that tweeted about being ill in their Feel Good campaign. They then sent them a “care package” with all 50 uploading a photo of themselves with the Kleenex gift to their social networks. The consumer perception was then that Kleenex “cares” about us!
The Final Analysis
Consumers have the purchasing power and wield it and share it with their peeps. Brands need to make consumers their partners and talk to them, not at them. We all respond to the right cues… sincerity, caring and talking to rather than informing. If you brand can accomplish this, then you will capture more of their hearts and minds and sales.