It’s easy to build a brand or a marketing campaign based on what we think is a good idea but the reality is that the best brands tune into their audience intimately and they know how to get down with Other People’s Passions: O.P.P.
When you consider the things that drive the thoughts and emotions of your audience, you will find a gold mine of ideas that will help you develop campaigns and an overall brand to connect with them, but as Oprah always says, it’s important to consider your intentions.
Don’t use someone’s passion as way to get them to buy from you, instead use it as a resource to help you build genuine relationship with them.
For example, if you own a coffee shop and discover that your customers love art from Paris, then it would be great to line the walls of your cafe with art from Paris. Not because you are just trying to sell coffee, but because you want to create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere that your customers will love. Selling coffee almost becomes secondary to creating the connection and building the relationship. A customer may only buy coffee from you once, but if they have a relationship with you, they keep coming back.
So how does a brand get down with O.P.P.?
Create A Passionate Strategy
A passionate strategy starts with doing the research to get to know your audience beyond the demographics: Where do they shop? Where do they eat? What do they do on the weekends? Where are they going on their next vacation? How did they respond or feel about that last tragedy that was all over the news? You would be surprised at the number of marketing touch points that can be generated from this level of research. With a better idea of what your audience is passionate about, it becomes easier to align your brand and branding initiatives with them.
Reflecting on the passions of your brands leader(s) as well as the team is an equally important step in the strategy. When you consider that it takes two in any relationship, a passionate strategy can never be one-sided. Once the passions are determined you’ll have a solid foundation upon which to unify your brand with you audience, to produce the desired result.
Create a Story
Who doesn’t love a good story? And these days stories can be shared in various forms like photos, videos, events and plain old english or the written word. The creative connection comes when a brand develops a story around the common passions they have with their audience.
How many times have we heard about tech companies starting off in their garage and growing into multi-million dollar enterprises with offices around the world. People love a good ‘rags to riches’ story, especially when you’re an entrepreneur building your own brand, it becomes so easy to relate and become inspired and want to associate with that successful brand.
The same thing applies to everyday people and employees. When there is a natural disaster somewhere in the world, many companies offer assistance by way of donations, fund raisers and awareness campaigns to lend support but also to demonstrate their corporate values. If your audience holds those same values, you’ve automatically created a connection through your mutual concern for community.
Stay in Touch
With all the noise in the world today, it’s almost impossible to stay top-of-mind, but nothing holds a relationship together better than consistent, timely and genuine communication. If we did our homework right at the strategy development phase and employed the proper tools, systems and resources, we know when to capture our audience and what message to deliver like birthday wishes, promotions on frequently purchased items, travel sales at a time of year when you know your audience is in the travel shopping phase.
Communication is a two-way super highway and if you’re doing it right, the conversation will flow with ease and precision. You deliver a message, the audience receives the message, they give feedback, you revise or refine the message and deliver again and the cycle goes on. They key is in paying attention to the feedback, this will give you all the passionate fuel you need to improve on the next message and win the hearts and minds of your intended audience.
With a passionate strategy, the question should always be about how you can work together and it’s important to remember that such an in depth strategy will take time to develop, execute and produce favourable results. It may be hit and miss as you’re getting started but the more time and effort you invest is the more return you can expect on the investment. But that’s how it works in any relationship right?