TThehe space before the brand: fertile ground for marketinRead more: http://wallblog.co.uk/2013/07/05/the-space-before-the-brand-fertile-ground-for-marketing/#ixzz2YN06YcSU Follow us: @brandrepublic on Twitter
The space before the brand: fertile ground for marketing
Very interesting and thoughtful read from Damon Mangos, posted on 5 July, 2013 on WallBlog.
Audiences demand more from the media and advertising that surrounds and interrupts them.
Let’s simplify things. We are trying to sell people stuff. A hard sell, a knock on the door isn’t going to work, unless people have made a decision based on need and are ready to transact.
A high impact emotive pitch via TV and print is not enough. It’s about forming a relationship and beyond this ‘going steady’. Where your audience selects you above all others, keeps coming back, seeks you out, engages with you and talks about you to their friends.
How do we achieve this?
Well as a digital practitioner for the last 12 years – I’ve learned my craft building digital campaigns and platforms for number of leading global brands – learning from and with them in equal measure.
Above-the-line advertising without doubt has impact and exists in channels where our audiences are in great numbers. But for me it is that seductive and fleeting glance across the room – creating desire, without the follow through.
It’s what happens next and where, that drives the relationship further. Desire must be maintained. Digital channels – both on site and in social – are the place where this relationship can develop and flourish.
At Delete we’ve coined a phrase – ‘the space before the brand’. For me this is the fertile ground for marketing, by creating a campaign or piece of interactive media that engages the audience before the hard sell. It’s an opportunity to invite your customer into a more neutral space, to explore the values and culture of your brand, often through a campaign but equally as main site destination.
It can be as simple as building out a more visual content rich layer on your eCommerce site through to a complete campaign framework that moves beyond your product range in to making your brand relevant to a person’s life.
What characterises this ‘space’?
There must be a value exchange either as information, rewards, entertainment or experience.
This space also allows the brand to move beyond any rigid brand guidelines. It can break with convention and show a more accessible side to what you do. It also allows you to embrace cultural and popular cultural zeitgeists.
A great benefit of this extension is connecting with newer and wider audiences, and overcoming past preconceptions.
Some people call this content marketing – but I believe it’s more than content – it’s cultural marketing. Culture is more than brand values, pictures or copy – it’s a less defined and more emotive place. Greater than the sum of it’s parts and if done right a very evocative and effective medium.
It all starts with us building a culture for a brand whether this exists naturally or not. Assessing existing content, values, brand guidelines to develop a creative cultural positioning which we can build on and grow. This culture surrounds the brand and gives it definition and relevance. Generating inspiration and ultimately motivation to move further along the funnel to purchase.
Brands, through their agencies, create and maintain desire. And while digital has certainly changed over the last twelve years, what has been consistent is its ability to move beyond a one-way exchange.
The audience is involved and invited to participate developing connections with the user’s own interests and building trust and loyalty, through a relevant experience that sits in front of the transaction.
Working with Expedia recently we have built an interactive application that sits within Metro newspapers’ Digital Editions. Presenting the user with valuable content in the form of City Guides ‘Through a Different Lens’ (pictured). It’s an inspiration layer and culture around travel – giving the audience a chance to explore. This builds a relationship – where you no longer have to push your product the consumer comes to you. It’s a softer way into a relationship but hopefully a more rewarding and longer lasting one.
It’s a brand saying “this for you – if you like it come back, tell your friends – no obligations.”
It’s a giving relationship that brands have to be confident and committed to. It takes time to establish and build out your cultural values into viable and engaging content – but a path well worth considering in this age of earned media and social recommendation.
The value in considering a more cultural approach to marketing and investing in the ‘space before the brand’ builds a framework for a longer lasting relationship with your customers.
We are after all cultural animals and we thrive in good relationships.
The Strange Case of the Naked Man in “La Redoute” ad image and The Brilliant Case of 3Suisses Facebook counter-campaign.
It’s all happening in France. It is all exploding around end of 2011 and beginning of 2012. What a disgraceful way of closing 2011 for French fashion retailer La Redoute and what a hilarious and brilliant counter-campaign from its direct competitor 3Suisses.
An educational and inspiring story about competition and, sad enough, about failure in management, incredible when it comes from structured and organized contexts such as La Redoute, from PPR Group.
Here’s the story. Towards the end of 2011, Uk based fashion website and blog Stylist.co.uk, looking at one of the online visuals from La redoute’s website, discovers there’s a naked man (yes: A NAKED MAN) happily bathing on the background of this Kidswear visual (yes: KIDSWEAR AD VISUAL). Take a look at the image below:
The French fashion retailer quickly apologizes for the photo in which the naked man appears behind a group of children advertising beachwear. La Redoute is forced to try to control crowds of French people and consumers, commenting sarcastically or furiously against the failure on all Social Media, apologizing on Facebook and eliminating the photo.
Obviously in the meantime the image has gone wildly viral on the Internet: montages appeared on the internet showing the naked man in some iconic images, such as the Moon landing.
In one of the spoof images the face of the disgraced former International Monetary Fund chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was pasted onto the naked man.
A spokeswoman for La Redoute, quoted by the AFP news agency, said an internal inquiry had been launched to determine how the error had happened.
The error was compounded by the fact that La Redoute provided a magnifying glass so that people could examine the beachwear close-up.
Some tweeters remarked that the "bad buzz" surrounding the photo was actually useful publicity for La Redoute.
Now, the question is: “How can it possibly be that such scandalous photos do get to publication without being stopped in post-production?”. This is unacceptable. In my personal experience with dozens of shootings for fashion brands, with photographers of every kind, style, level and background, I have gone through dozens of checks with dozens of key levels of control, for every single image, in order to spot hair on an arm of a model or a wrinkle in a pant which would ruin the aesthetics of the pic and these guys at La Redoute, brand of the celebrated PPR Group, fails so heavily on such a delicate matter?
On the counterside, though, we cannot but admire and applause the quick reaction of La Redoute’s main mail-order competitor, 3Suisses, who immediately launched this brilliant Facebook Campaign
Translated from French its claim says: “It is clear that not everybody knows we sell bathing suits”.
This prediction thing possesses us again and again around this time of the year...funny enough, it is spreading rapidly among Internet pundits and users...
Literally love this super-hot article from a great branding blog site I regularly follow for inspiration.
It reveals a highly demonstrative case of misuse of Social Media by companies that think of Facebook, Twitter and all other Social Media as of shopping windows for their products. Or advertising displays. Or simply places where you an get "free" contacts and spread some "word-of-mouth" for just nothing.
Now, look at the image below. It's the image that Chapstick, the leading American brand for lip balm and other cosmetic products, advertised just recently. Well, I find it's such a cool image: provocative, ironic, showing a young girl tilting off her sofa to try and get her chapstick. As I said: I find it just great: communicative, inspiring, allusive.
Obviously it did get to irritate some women, and, particularly, a blogger, who posted a comment to rise her complain. And that was the beginning of the storm: post got deleted, other comments followed and soon mounted into a super-big turmoil of hundreds of fans complaining about their comments being deleted.
Well: a great lesson. Social Media is a place for conversations. And conversations can be smooth or rough, but still conversations. I wonder whether Chapstick has learned the lesson...
Food for thought...Enjoy!
Over the past few days lip balm icon Chapstick’s Facebook page has been ground zero for social media controversy.
It all started when Chapstick posted a new ad on their Facebook page that featured a woman searching for a lost Chapstick container. The ad’s not-so-flattering depiction of the woman’s hind side inspired a feminist “Reel Girl” blogger to write up a scathing review of the ad.
When the blogger posted a link to the review on Chapstick’s Facebook page, the page’s moderators promptly removed it. This spurred many follow up posts inquiring about the deleted link. When these subsequent posts were also deleted…all hell broke loose.
As Chapstick fans began to notice the ongoing censorship negative comments began to poor in faster than Chapstick moderators could delete.
The most unfortunate part of the entire episode for Chapstick’s brand is that all the negative feedback could have quickly been avoided had Chapstick handled the initial negative posts better. Users were looking for an explanation. They were looking for a dialogue. Chapstick’s “delete first and answer questions later” response has led many fans to boycott the lip balm company.
Branding is all about the conversation. Most consumers understand that while they try so hard to be, businesses are not perfect and everyone makes mistakes. It’s the response to those mistakes define character, and in a business’ case, define brands.
Chapstick had the opportunity to admit their error, remove their offensive ad, and move forward. Chapstick could have invited their consumers in an allowed them to belong. Instead, they ignored the people who purchase their products.
Chapstick got people talking for all the wrong reasons, and now they are desperately trying to find a way to change the conversation.
Are you listening to the conversation online?
Yet another fashion blog