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Sorry: People Don’t Care About Brands

August 5, 2020

Angry cow holding sign that says no to brands smoke and pain stars showing cow got brandedIf you’re a marketer, chances are you really care about brands.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

And you assume other people (prospects) do, too.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Behavioral scientist Richard Shotton says that’s an example of the false consensus effect: we think our behaviors and views are more common than they really are.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Most people don’t care about brands.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Consider the Havas Group’s Meaningful Brands 2019 report based on 1,800 brands and 350,000 respondents in 31 countries.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Results: consumers said they wouldn’t care if 77% of everyday brands disappeared.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

[FWIW: 58% of respondents thought brands were providing poor and irrelevant content.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

[61% of British consumers said they want brands to provide content that is interesting, entertaining, or offers useful experiences or services that stand apart from the brand’s usual services.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

[Which, to me anyway, implies that info-tainment is a much better content choice than just facts and figures.]blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Joe Parrish, Chief Creative Officer at The Variable, an advertising agency, wrote a post called People Don’t Love Your Brand, They Don’t Even Like It.

blank vertical space, 16 pixels highOuch.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

He said we have too much going on in our lives to care about brands.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

We are over-Instagrammed and Facebooked and student loaned and DVR’d and iPhoned and baby pictured. Mass media no longer affects us.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Then he mentioned brand purpose, and said it gives brands an edge.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

That jibes with the Havas report which found that half of British consumers prefer to buy from companies with a reputation for being focused on purpose rather than just profits.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Full disclosure: I hate the term “brand purpose.” It irks me. It sounds so pompous. And it smacks of bandwagons and political correctness.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Think of all the brands who say they’re in it to fight climate change, or now, suddenly, post-George Floyd, to end “systemic racism.”blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

But then Mr. Parrish (whose post was written in 2017) reeled me back in: he mentioned Bud Light and their Dilly, Dilly campaign:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

(Bud Light) finally understands why they exist– to give friends something to drink while they’re having good times…blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

the goal of their advertising (is) to give friends something to talk about… to create pop culture that can be talked about
over the beer they make.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Don’t overthink it. It’s not about taste or ingredients or calories. It’s about enhancing friendship. And how have they done it? “Dilly, dilly…”blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Enhancing friendship, bringing people together. Now there’s a purpose even smaller brands can aspire to (as opposed to solving global warming).blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Jeff Slater makes a similar point about people and brands:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Brands are purely emblematic: vehicles or tools towards something bigger. Consumers love the experience they have through a brand, but it isn’t the brand itself that matters.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

More often than not, it is about being part of a community.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

So forget about people loving your brand– give them a reason to congregate.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Develop a unique brand voice. Remember the Havas report:
people like content that’s interesting and entertaining. Give them something to enjoy and talk about.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The last word goes to Mr. Shotton: Be different. Prioritize getting noticed. It’s all for naught if people just scroll past your content.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *    blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, editorial, branding, social media, and content marketing. My images are different, like your brand needs to be.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Questions? Send me an email.blank vertical space, 40 pixels highRecommendation testimonial for Mark Armstrong Illustration from Robyn Dochterman, Owner Chocolatier St. Croix Chocolate Company

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2020 5:37 PM

    🤣 I see this cow (?) with a speech bubble that reads: Holy cow, this brand is a smokin’ pain in my bovine butt! Love the sketch. 👌🐄

    Like

    • August 7, 2020 9:22 AM

      I think that’s a cow(??), but I’m not a cowologist. Sometimes I dress up as Batman, so sometimes I’m a cowl-ologist, but that’s not the same thing. Your speech bubble idea almost made me choke on my cuppa chai!! I think it’s a great idea, my dear Radhika, and my regimental mustache is green with envy because I didn’t think of it!! Thanks for keeping your iron in the fire here at Armstrong Bovinical Gardens! 🔧 🔥 💪 🐮 🌷 👍 👳 😊

      Like

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