One of the best ways for integrated marketers to position their company is also one that feels risky: putting your brand values onstage, front and center. Risky, because, we may worry that revealing our principals could alienate our customers.
But it’s essential to companies courting Millennials and particularly emerging consumer powerhouse Gen Z. At present, Gen Z is between the ages of 2 – 19, and since most of them have grown up with social media, they’re incredibly influential and engaged. Even at such a young age, they’ve got a cumulative $44 billion in purchasing power, and almost 90% say that they’re only loyal to brands that share their values. That’s a lot of sales to miss out on!
It’s easier than you think to articulate and market your values, but the trick is knowing just the right way to spin it.
Do: Know the difference between values and politics.
Right now, politics is a too-hot-to-handle topic. Values, on the other hand, goes beyond a person or a party and expresses a fundamental belief in the goodness of something. When you express your values, you should stand for something (e.g., access to clean drinking water, public transportation, education for all), rather than standing against something or someone. Brands like TOMS and Warby Parker do the philanthropic angle beautifully (and not surprisingly, both groups are also huge with Millennials and Gen Z). Aligning yourself with a particular political candidate could backfire by angering a huge chunk of potential customers. Lesson to learn: What is your “brand voice” and why does it matter?
Do: Have a good handle on how to weave the message through the marketing.
Chipotle did this seamlessly with their anti-GMO campaign of a few years ago. Not only did they articulate their position in a beautifully rendered campaign that marketers still point to today, they put in the context of caring for the customer and the planet while ensuring high-quality food. Lesson to learn: Storytellers Are the Best New Marketers
Don’t: Speak out just to say something.
Marketing and social media maestro Simon Mainwarning has cautioned integrated marketers that inauthenticity is the fastest way to kill their brands. Remember how the whole Internet came out against the Kendall Jenner/Pepsi fake protest spot? Your audience craves authenticity and knows when you’re faking it. Lesson to learn: Promotional Products To Avoid
Last modified: July 10, 2018