There’s a new model of consumerism in 2019—and advertisers don’t control it.
In a previous article we discussed the impact that our 24/7, always-on culture has on the way that we as consumers interact with companies. With an increasing amount of media channels available to brands, consumers are used to being inundated with advertisements from every angle. More than ever, we’re quick to tune out anything that doesn’t provide value to our lives.
The rules are in the consumer’s hands. When coupled with ad blockers and feed filters, our quick attention spans mean that brands don’t have as much time to communicate. This new model of consumerism means that companies need to step their game up when it comes to communicating why their product provides more value than a competitor.
“Customers love iPhone because we focus on technologies that matter in their lives,” Kaiann Drance, senior director of worldwide product marketing for iPhone at Apple, said perfectly when introducing the iPhone 11 in September.
Notice that Drance specifically pinpointed the technologies that matter.
When advertising the iPhone, the company doesn’t focus on specs like camera aperture or display resolution (even though these features work with others to come together and ultimately make the product a superior one). They know that the majority of their customers don’t care about these details—they want to know what results they can expect once the product is in their hands.
This positioning fits into the company’s credo: Enriching Lives. They want their products to enable dreamers to become doers. For example, a pro camera that makes it easy for a YouTuber to up their filming game. Or the Dual SIM feature that allows entrepreneurs to manage two phone numbers on a single device.
Better yet, think of Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” marketing campaign. It showcases stunning photos from everyday people that you think would have been shot on a DSLR camera—but instead, they’re shot by the same device you use to look for directions and talk to your friends.
Notice anything missing in these ads? The actual camera.
The thing is, you don’t need to see that famous sleek design or read a list of specs to recognize the value of the product—and Apple knows that. That’s why the thing that’s really important to the customer—the photo—is the focus of this campaign.
Put brand value at the forefront
You won’t see an explanation of how Apple makes it happen—just what you’re able to make happen with them.
To accomplish the same, you need to communicate how your product or service will enable a customer to make things happen. Consider their daily lives, their pain points, and what they value. How will your product specifically help them accomplish their goals? How does it elicit joy, drive revenue, improve quality, or reduce costs? Also consider intangible benefits that add value to your product, like impeccable customer service, free setup/installation, prompt delivery, and money-back guarantees.
Don’t think of it solely as telling your brand’s story. Instead, tell the story of your customers. If you’re unsure of what your audience’s goals are, your job as a brand is to listen. Great ways to do this include employing surveys, hosting focus groups, and listening to what they are saying on social media. Don’t just give your word either. Share testimonials and success stories from real customers (psst—here’s why those online reviews matter).
And know what that forefront looks like
In the end, before customers buy from you, they first need to know you. Consider the story that you’re telling, and the channels that you use to do it. Are you providing value in the messages that you share? Do you create quality content that targets their pain points? Is there a reason for them to open your emails or follow you on social media?
Be honest with yourself about how you’re engaging (or not engaging) with your customers, and how you can better communicate. That might involve getting back to basics with your brand…
We can figure that out
…or we can do that for you. If you’re unsure about how to best communicate your brand’s story and value, we’d love to partner together.
We don’t just create pretty words. We take a look at your company as a whole to create a holistic solution that gets results. We’ll prove it—drop us a line here.