An insightful post from my new guest blogger, Fran Lytle. Fran is a great friend, a Behaviorist, Brand Strategist and Co-founder of Brand Champs. She is an expert in gender and generation behavior and helps brands grow their business by embracing behavioral insights when developing their marketing plans. Enjoy…
4 Marketing Tips To “Stop The Madness”
The ABC show Shark Tank features aspiring entrepreneurs making business presentations to a panel of wealthy potential investors. Have you seen it? If not, you’re missing out on the opportunity to learn how to market your brand from self-made multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons.
One of the Sharks is Kevin O’Leary, a venture capitalist – also known as “Mr. Wonderful.” At least once an episode, after hearing an entrepreneur’s not-so-good brand pitch, Mr. Wonderful will lean in, steeple his hands and sarcastically exclaim “Stop the Madness!” before ultimately refusing to invest his hard-earned billions.
Want to know how to “Stop the Madness!” when marketing your brand? Check out these 4 tips . . .
- Stop using the word “consumer!”
People are people. By referring to people as “consumers” you de-humanize us. People resent being labeled “consumers” because it implies our sole purpose and reason for existence on this planet is to consume.
A recent psychological study about materialism and happiness, conducted by the Marketing Department at Northwestern University, indicates that when people are referred to as consumers, we exhibit indicators of depression, anxiety and antisocial behavior.
Use “people” instead of “consumers” when you’re having internal brand discussions, as well as in your marketing communications. Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Company, encourages Campbell’s employees to switch their thinking as well as their vocabulary. She inspires them to think of people as the bosses of Campbell Soup.
As an employee, what type of behavior do you exhibit when interacting with your boss? You listen; ask questions; deliver what she/he wants; and attempt to develop a good working relationship with her/him. Well, if people are your bosses, shouldn’t you be doing the same? Listen to people; ask questions; deliver what they want and develop relationships with them.
- Stop talking about your brand!
People don’t care about your brand. There, I’ve said it. People care about themselves; their families and friends; and the world. We don’t want to be “sold to,” we want to be “connected with.” As human beings, we have a fundamental need for connection with others. The need to connect is so deeply ingrained within us that simply seeing and reading about connections makes us feel connected.
How can your brand possibly connect with us if you keep talking about your brand? To be successful, your brand must share how it will enhance our lives; bring value to our relationships; and help others.
Share a story about your brand with people as lead characters. Don’t start your story with, “My brand does . . .” Instead, start it with “We’re especially for people who want or desire yada yada.” When people hear this, they’re more likely to nod their head and think, “Hmm . . . that’s interesting, sounds a lot like me.” This self-identification leads to brand consideration.
- Stop pushing out information!
Meaningful human connections can’t be formed in one direction. Relationships require reciprocity . . . a conversation, not a discourse. When your brand has conversations with people, you develop connections — which become a foundation for something people intuitively understand and highly value . . . trust.
Like “Mr. Wonderful,” I’m leaning forward and my hands are in a steeple position as I write this . . . social media is about having conversations with people. Is your brand guilty of pushing out information you want people to read? If so, “Stop the Madness!”
Connect with people by using your brand’s social media to listen; share; learn; and educate. Accomplish this by engaging in conversations with people. Even if your brand has great content to share, you’re not going to develop relationships with people if you don’t initiate and participate in conversations.
- Stop talking about function!
People are seeking not to buy something, but to buy into something. To succeed in today’s world, your brand must create emotional connections with people . . . you must share an emotional brand story.
Did you know that because of our brain structure, humans are story junkies? Our brain reacts differently when presented with a story than when it’s offered facts. Stories that we read, hear and watch affect us naturally.
Because of our brain’s neural coupling, stories activate parts of our brain that help us to integrate stories into our own experiences. Our brain also releases dopamine when presented with an emotional story . . . this helps us to remember the story longer and with greater accuracy than when faced with a non-emotional story.
Are you ready to “Stop The Madness!” when marketing your brand? Stop using the word “consumer.” Stop talking about your brand. Stop pushing out information. And, stop talking about function.
Sometimes on Shark Tank, when entrepreneurs decline Kevin O’Leary’s offer, or refuse to take his advice, he exclaims, “You are dead to me! Get out of here!” You don’t want people saying this to your brand. Get busy putting these tips to work.
About the Author
Fran is a behaviorist, brand strategist, author and co-founder of Brand Champs. She helps brands engage people by aligning psychology, gender-specific and generation-specific behavioral insights with the human aspects of a brand.
Brand Champs develops brand strategy; emotional brand storytelling; content marketing and social media marketing programs. They have particular expertise in developing and implementing initiatives to engage and motivate women, Millennials & Boomers.
Fran shares branding insights through the popular Brand Champs blog and is a guest writer for Launch & Hustle, Global Media and Provident4Women. Her insights have been published in Social Media Today.