The most remarkable marketing campaigns throughout history didn’t just increase sales or raise brand awareness. The brands that spearheaded them influenced how we think about not just their product or service but the entire industry. At their core, they were so memorable because they changed minds. They knew the power of emotions, beliefs and perceptions.
With over 600 million active users, Instagram is one of the largest social networks. It is also one of the most active. According to Instagram statistics, 50% of users have followed a brand and another 60% learn about a product or service through the platform. Even more impressive is that 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a site, conducting a search, making a purchase or telling a friend after being inspired by a post.
Nobody wants to be told to buy something. However, everyone loves a great story. Telling stories is how humans have shared knowledge, built trust and developed authority since the dawn of time.
Scientific research has shown that as a species, we are wired for stories. They can trigger emotional and physiological responses in our bodies. One study by neuroscientist Paul Zak found that a compelling narrative releases oxytocin, a chemical associated with empathy and trust. When it is released in the brain, it can influence a person’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.
Years ago “branding” may have been solely associated with companies. However, with the rise of the Internet, social media and the cool entrepreneur, branding as a person is also incredibly important. In the digital world, some may argue that strong personal branding is no longer just a competitive edge but a necessity.
Many organizations will do an online search or background check before they consider hiring you. If you are an entrepreneur, you can bet that investors and clients will do research before chatting with you.
I’ll admit it: I’m a smug consumer. Apparently, so is the rest of the world nowadays.
With a vast range of options and instantaneous decision-making, it’s normal for employers to decide whether or not you’ll be hired for a job based on whether or not you use proper caps in your job resume and cover letter.
I know you. You’re a doodler. A designer. An artist. You’ve got an eye for cool fonts and catchy sayings. You’d rather hit a thrift store than a night club. People are constantly complimenting you on your taste or at the very least telling you, “Hey, cool shirt.” For years you’ve looked at those doodles, designs and that running notes doc of quips and phrases and thought, “Man this would make such a cool t-shirt.”
When you see the word “textiles” what do you think of? Perhaps a grungy 19th-century factory comes to mind, with dangerous working conditions and a whole lot of brick. Or perhaps you think “what in the world are textiles?” Well, if you are running a business in the clothing/apparel/garment/fashion industries, you’ll need to learn a thing or two about textiles (another word for cloth or fabric), how they get made, and how they get made into clothing.
Wouldn’t it be great if every business out there had an enormous, well-resourced marketing team to dress up and review every single document that the brand sent out? While, of course, this would be truly stellar, it just simply isn’t the reality of most businesses out there. From small businesses to major corporations, all enterprises are constrained by time and budget, and considering the amount of marketing output most companies produce today, it just isn’t feasible to have someone review absolutely everything in painstaking detail.
What is your brand? Is it your company name? Your products? Your packaging? Your logo? Your website? Is it a few clever words that describe what your company’s all about?
The truth is it's none of those things. And all of them. I know, I know. That’s super confusing. Read on, and let’s see if we can make some sense of it.
Whenever I think about brand videos, I can’t help but think about Forrester researcher Dr. James McQuivey, who estimates that one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words.
Now, McQuivey is the first to admit that this “stat” is mostly a soundbite, which was arrived at using some loosey-goosey math based on a picture being worth 1,000 words and multiplying that by the number of frames in a second of video, etc. (Sidenote: to the extent that it can be measured, a picture may only be worth around 84 words. Just saying.)
Have you ever visited a website or walked into a store that had no personality? Nothing stood out, nothing called out to you, nothing made you want to laugh, cry, or purchase it.
You probably don’t even remember the experience, because if the company had a strong personality - you would remember it. I call this personality voice. It would have engaged your emotions, and anything that engages your emotions triggers the part of your brain having to do with memory.
Your customers want to think of your brand as more than just a commercial entity. In short, they want to see the human element behind your business and your brand. When brands successfully do this, it builds trust and rapport with customers. However, doing this well is easier said than done. So, how can you successfully give your customers a first-hand look at the human element behind your business? Let’s take a look at a few ideas.