What's it all about...Alfie?
I'm a copywriter and a marketer making my way in the world of strategy, branding, promotion and all that important stuff. It's my business to cut through all the other messages out there with a simple straightforward communication delivered straight to a customer's head and heart (did the cute teddy bear pic work?).
Well, it can be...but most of the time it's not quite that simple and to be honest, it shouldn't be. We're smarter than that you and I, we consumers.
In an ever increasingly cynical world of message and content overload even I find myself weary and wary of the way organisations are trying to connect with me. I often feel manipulated and to be honest emotionally exploited by attempts to connect with me by pulling on my heart strings. You know what I mean? The 60 second TVC's (television commercials) showing carefully crafted 'families' sharing beautiful moments. Or, the other side of the spectrum of 'real people' undergoing hardship and struggles. All to the tune of some emotional music and with a subtle logo appearing for a few seconds at the end.
I'm not buying it. In fact I'm switching off.
Which brings me to what I think it all should be about. AUTHENTICITY.
I recently went to a Branding Summit. A bunch of marketing and advertising gurus (including myself of course) in a room listening to several experts speak about branding your product. Explaining how connecting with customers emotionally is important. About how it really is THE IMPORTANT CONNECTION at this time. SPEAK TO THE HEART.
My cynical levels were up (if Fitbits recorded cynicism that would have made an interesting chart on the App (it would also be a miracle as I don't wear a Fitbit...but aaaaaanywaaaaay)).
HERE. WE. GO. AGAIN. (I thought). Fitbit App Cynicism level stratospheric.
But no! All was revealed and I may sound sarcastic here but I'm honestly not.
Refreshingly the view is that there's absolutely no point in faking it (yes useful advice across a few platforms but I'm talking about branding here OK?). Organisations need to find what it is at their core that they're good at. What of this core they can bring to their customers. They need to figure out just really how they do, honestly, make a difference!
They need to know "What is their 'Why?'". Richard Sauerman "The Brand Guy" is the expert on this subject and was one of the speakers at the summit. He talks about "Great brands grow from the inside out". I addressed my cynical question to him about the anti-emotional backlash I was feeling against advertisers. He agreed that if it feels like they're selling you BS then they probably are selling you BS. That truly authentic messages cut through because they're genuine and meaningful - which in turn means something to us.
Dig deep. WHAT IS YOUR TRUE PURPOSE? When you find it for you and your organisation, telling your story will be a whole lot simpler and refreshingly you'll have a genuine story to share with your customers.
As Cilla Black sang in "What's it all about...Alfie?" "without true love we just exist..." well without true purpose in our message, to our customers we won't exist at all.
Lyndall Talbot is a Newcastle and The Hunter based copywriter. Contact on 0408 747 173.