What Do You Want, What Do You Need?
It’s the first year of a new decade and while we consider and promise ourselves ways we can make this new one rewarding for our bodies and souls, as strategists and marketers we should mimic this same thoughtful strategy for our brands.
Often, resolutions can be a bit idealistic, but if we make enough of them or really make the commitment, one will out.
So below, we’ve listed some of the most common New Year’s resolutions to show you how make a success out of 2011 and beyond.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of taking a hard look this year at your brand’s packaging and finding ways to either reduce non-recyclable materials or make the packaging reusable.
Consumers are informed about climate change and the importance of sustainability and are taking responsible measures to reduce the amount of waste they produce, which should be evidenced by the amount of designer grocery tote bags produced over the final year of the past decade.
Brands are an extension of a consumer’s personality, and our consumer is responsible.
Things have not changed dramatically in the marketplace and unemployment across the country remains high. What has changed is that Americans have learned their lesson about spending now, and are zeroing in on eliminating their debt. Meanwhile, the whitewashing of a zillion promotions shouting ‘Clearance,’ and ‘Liquidation,’ has left consumers numb and really taken the thrill out of a good sale.
It’s safe to assume that most brands are going to continue their price battles, so I would urge brands to take the alternative approach and emphasize the goodness of their products. The angle to kick off this decade should be ‘Our product costs more but, we’re not reducing the size, we’ve got the same fluid ounces you’ve come to expect, we’ve improved our product in a way that really lasts you longer, and our product is proven to be worth the money.’
‘Everything Must Go’ must be done away with and value of goods must be restored to save brands.
Be More Charitable
It’s been shown that in times of hardship, somehow, people are more likely to give to causes. We are now at a point where practically everyone in the US’ middle class has made sacrifices to make ends meet and therefore, they can empathize with those in need. Moreover, reliance on one another has grown, as has the need for solidarity.
Think really hard about the life of your specific consumer. What would make them think that you empathize with their situation? Is there a way for your products to alleviate some of the stresses or at least bring more joy? Are your products truly useful? Can you advocate for a larger cause that they would believe in?
Brands that demonstrate that they care for their consumers with honest intentions of helping out are going to win in a big way. Brands should stand for something greater than the products they create. This is a trend that has strong, lifetime legs.
The last few years have been rough on our consumer, and sometimes when the world seems like it’s crashing down we tend to introvert, stick to our clan and bow-out of activities that used to engage us.
We threw the term ‘Conversation’ around quite a bit in 2010 and now it’s time to double that effort. It doesn’t stop here nor will it ever slow down. Think about the ways you touch your consumer with your communication. Do they ever touch back? Digital has a tremendous reach, but it may be time to revisit a good old, face-to-face experience. There are people behind every brand. Does your consumer realize that about you? How do you show your personality, your responsiveness?
Brands that get people talking and ultimately moving again will create inertia and reinvigorate participation on both ends.
And lastly, Here’s to Our Health…
Short and Sweet– Never assume that because you are currently keeping up with the competition and you are making your profit margins that you own a successful, long-term brand.
Take the time to evaluate brand standing. Take a look at the projected environment, getting some solid feedback from consumers through research. Develop a plan that takes you beyond four quarters and really solidify your position in contrast to your competitors.
Build a truly healthy brand strategy. Don’t be afraid to pause, take a deeper look, reevaluate, and ask for help if you need it.
Cheers to your Health!