“We are entering a new era of consumerism where consumers do not want to feel ‘victim’ to advertisements or sales pitches. Consumers no longer want to be ‘talked to’ but ‘talked with.’ ”
It is extremely important to keep active open two way conversation between your brand and your customer. Creating a relationship of trust through human interaction and meeting consumer expectations is important to make your consumer feel as though his or her voice is being heard and that they are an active part of the process. It shows that you are listening, understand and care about their concerns. It also helps you gain valuable insight. Brands must be available and listening to what the market is saying and be able to pivot at a moment’s notice.
Brands need to live what they preach. Practice what you preach. Put a stake in the ground and live your values without apology. The consumer needs to see your genuine motivations and will quickly see through any false pretenses. If a brand makes a promise, consumers expect the brand to keep that promise. Living your brand authentically will weed out the cold/luke warm consumer to leave you with true blue advocates of your brand. Authenticity is the only way to create a real brand.
Be consistent with your branding and messaging, to create a sense of familiarity and trust with consumers. Being consistent in action, written word, and image reinforces what your brand stands for.
Be straightforward and direct with intentions, values, and beliefs through both word and image. Own up to imperfections, they create a unique voice to your brand, make your brand more accessible and more human.
Brands need to weave a narrative or experience throughout every consumer touch point to walk the consumer through a journey of discovery. If the brands process is too disjointed or abrupt, the consumer will find another brand that is with them the entire process.
Stand for Something
Brands need to promote a positive message. Take a stand on important issues that are relevant to your industry or brand. Brands should be working towards a better future. Consumers want to feel like they are making a difference and want to align with brands that make the world a better place and to fit within a brand that aligns with their own belief system. Ideally standing for things that are relevant to the brand and not to go chasing every movement currently trending or the consumer will quickly see it as a marketing gimmick.
Today’s consumers want to be able to immediately connect with brands, people, celebrities at a moments notice. They want to access content, products and services immediately. Brands need to make themselves available wherever the consumer’s attention is; be it physical or digital.
Innovation has come to be accepted as the norm in today’s fast paced culture. With the rapid acceleration of technology, consumers expect brands to innovate quickly. Consumers are looking for products and services that make lives better and easier for themselves and others. Innovation keeps a brand and products relevant and in the forefront of a consumers mind space.
Consumers put a lot of value in word of mouth and nonaffiliated reviews. Today’s consumer is much more aware and intelligent. They know where to get information they need and are more skeptical of claims. They will not take a brands word at face value. Recommendations from friends carry a lot more value than any ad campaign.