You Can’t Be Everything to Everyone
In the Mad Men days of marketing, offending your audience was the ultimate no-no. Brands strictly stayed within one voice and seldom ventured out to speak on controversial topics. But guess what folks… times have changed! We have Trump as a president, Bieber has to plead “Lo siento, no hablo español,” and women are now taller than their significant others.
Brands that continue to go the extra step and cross thin lines are turning heads and getting noticed!
Patagonia recently launched a campaign opposing the anti-conservation policies of the new White House administration. They called for action from their fan base, circulating a petition to stop the proposal of dismantling national monuments. The company publicly praised Obama’s democratic team and their efforts to protect the land. Pretty sure Kanye is now jealous!
Consumers don’t to care if the brand’s stance was intentional as long as the message is in line with their values.
Nordstrom fell victim to this fate when it dropped Ivanka Trump’s brand from its shelves. Donald Trump tweeted from both his personal and official POTUS Twitter that his daughter’s fashion line had been nixed for political reasons. The company stated that the end in business partnership had nothing to do with Ivanka’s involvement in her father’s administration. However, people didn’t seem to care. Left-leaning consumers flocked into Nordstroms to support them by posting pictures on social media, while those on the right condemned the brand’s actions using the #BoycottNordstroms on Twitter. Finally, there’s a political discussion on the internet!
Brands can excel by acting human.
Wendy’s took that challenge head on, and won. Wendy’s twitter account is now infamous across the marketing sphere. They understood that taking a stand does not always mean commenting on hot button issues. Wendy’s discovered a unique insight into what people want from a brand. People enjoy human reactions, and in this case, Wendy’s took it upon themselves to go head to head with the “haters” who were bashing them on Twitter. The company even went so far as to bash its competition.
No matter what route a brand decides to go, one thing is clear.
Consumers don’t just buy a brand for the product, but the morals and values that the company holds. They want to feel emotional ties to the company, they want to be connected with it in the same way they are with their friends. If companies hope to stand out in the age of clutter, they must be willing to take a stand.