Hamed Wardak, Entrepreneur
With all the publicity and hoopla among candidates for office, how does a brand stand out in the crowd? As if the democratic presidential primary didn’t create enough chaos in the marketplace, the recent impeachment proceedings and subsequent fallout from publicity over it have created enough pandemonium to divert attention away from brands seeking attention.
Environmental and social issues have also dominated the headlines. Issues like climate change, Black Lives Matter, and #MeToo have added to the media landscape and are often interwoven among some of the politics. Mix these issues together and throw in priorities of our different demographics and what does one have? There are brands going after Gen Z’ers who have strong interests on most of today’s big social issues. Then there are brands marketing to boomers who are a lot more traditional and concerned about the next recession and the growing federal deficit
One thing is for sure. For most brands, one size (of marketing) doesn’t fit all. For pretty much most of this year, brands need to target their marketing to each demographic it wishes to reach. Jeep did that to reach boomers in its Super Bowl ad by creating nostalgia.
This kind of reminiscence doesn’t work with Gen Z’ers which is more prone to support causes, but there may be some common ground that the younger and older generations occupy that brands may consider. Many boomers fought for things and issues they believed in and which they had won like gender and racial equality. But variations of inequality for both generations exist today.
Today’s consumer wants more information. They want to gain knowledge beyond the product they’re interested in possibly purchasing. More also want to know what the brand stands for as well as the value behind a product.
Remember when the federal government shut down for a record 35 days between December 22, 2018 and January 25, 2019? Several national brands including The North Face, REI and Columbia voiced their displeasure loudly and publicly via ads.
Seventh Generation, a company that bills itself as an eco-friendly and sustainable product brand went a step further. It bought and ran a 60-second ad about climate change that aired right after U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent state of the union address.
More consumers want to know how a brand relates to them and their values. Marketers that recognize this and craft messages that touch these publics will see greater success. More importantly, today’s consumer is savvier and can see through fabricated ads, brands taking stands must also reaffirm where they stand by their actions on a daily basis.
As written in earlier articles, brands wishing to craft tailored messages to targeted audiences need to first identify their audiences and then understand them. A/B tests can be extremely valuable to gauge receptivity among these publics. So, too, are community advisory boards which feel empowered and have a voice with the brand.
Last but not least, all campaigns must have measurable goals which are assessed and can be adjusted on a regular basis.