Brand Self-Awareness and Reaching the Consumer



There’s something about consumers that businesses and marketers always forget, and it’s something that they should remember before they lose their customers:

CONSUMERS ARE NOT STUPID!

They’re onto your business. They know that you always have something to sell. They know that every commercial, every email, every tweet, and every Facebook post is just a ploy get them to buy something. That’s not a bad thing. People need things, and businesses supply them, so they’re not wrong in trying to reach consumers in every possible medium. But it’s hard to stand out when consumers are exposed to nearly 3,000 advertisements per day. And unless your business has the most creative, game-changing, trend-setting marketing team of all time (SPOILER ALERT: if your business isn’t signed with Grand Apps, it doesn’t), your business might get left behind.

So to all you marketers looking for new ways to boost engagement with your customers, here’s some free advice that is criminally underused: be sincere! What consumers (and people in general) really appreciate is honesty. You’re not creating content because you want to make the customer’s lives better, you’re making it because you want the customer’s attention and money.

Take this Sprite commercial from 1995 starring NBA legend Grant Hill. While the commercial starts out like any other athlete-endorsement, we start seeing a graphic pop up with Grant Hill’s face, surrounded by money, accompanied by a “Ka-ching” sound every time Hill mentions Sprite. Think about what this means for brands. You presented your product in the hands of a popular athlete, and while his words say “I love it”, the sound effects reveal he’s really saying “I love money”.

And that’s awesome.

Grant Hill doesn’t have to like Sprite for him to get paid. He may even hate Sprite. Sprite may taste like hot diarrhea to Grant Hill. But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a commercial. While Grant Hill’s love of Sprite may or may not have been disingenuous, Sprite’s motive was not. The people at Sprite wanted its audience to know that it doesn’t matter if Grant Hill or any athlete likes Sprite, and this commercial was just that, a commercial. It was money spent to generate more money through sales. Sprite was brave enough to challenge the entire notion of

endorsement and advertisement as a whole, and that marketing campaign is still commended as a classic 20 years later.

So as a marketer, I want to put this information to good use. While I’m not going to start posting “THIS IS A MARKETING PLOY! GIVE US YOUR MONEY!” on all my clients’ social media accounts, I will be publishing content that actually makes the consumer want to stop and pay attention to this add, and not the 2,999 other adds filled with the same old dribble.

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