In our last article we discussed that 2016 is the year of brand reputation; a year where digital technology has made ‘connectedness’ more prominent than ever. No longer can you hide behind your brand label, or the glitzy front you want to portray, as digital has left doors wide open and everything exposed for all to see. This exposure and an increase in online communication have given customers the power to judge your business and voice their opinion online. It is now more important than ever for businesses to be genuine and prioritise social responsibility to win customer’s positive judgment and loyalty.
Brands have long used sponsorship as a way to contribute to, and associate with, the good causes that are important to their audience. However, a brand’s values are no longer defined by their logo being displayed at a local charity event, as its contributions to society are available online. With such a wide range of products and services available thanks to the digital economy, customers are turning to those who reflect them personally.
There is nothing more personal than your health and well-being. Sport England’s #ThisGirlCan used authenticity in the form of women from all parts of society taking part in a range of exercise to encourage 2.8 million women to make more active lifestyle choices. Sport England is a government agency not a commercial brand. Considering the Sport England Brand, would using an elite female athlete in the campaign have encouraged such a large uptake from the broader community?
Special K has responded to changing attitudes in a similar fashion. Famed for being the cereal of choice for women aiming to fit into an elegant ‘little red dress’, it’s shifted away from this trusted, image focused positioning to encouraging women to accept their individuality. #ownit instead encourages healthy choices and high self esteem to contribute to a happier society.
How we enjoy alcohol has also changed, with preferences for quality and responsible drinking rather than volume resulting in a popularity rise for independent breweries, vineyards and distilleries. To tap into this rather than not be invited to the party, Heineken has connected with their customers through promoting moderate drinking men as ‘heroes’ and more attractive to women. Previously Heineken championing dancing as the key factor to a good night out. Although alcohol brands are obliged to promote responsible drinking, it is a strong statement on consumer decision making to lead your messaging with it.
Brands now need to engage with their audience’s best interests and values in exchanges throughout decision-making experiences. These experiences should inspire others to be ambassadors and spread the word. So are you implementing the right strategies that will win your customers for life?
Stay with us, as we will be discussing how you can be talked about for the right reasons in our upcoming article.
Can’t wait any longer?
 James Swift, Drink less and women will like you more, says Heineken, published on Campaign Live (www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/drink-less-women-will-more-says-heineken/1378773), published 11th January 2016.