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How to align your brand with purpose-driven consumers

How to align your brand with purpose-driven consumers

By Desirée Gullan, Co-founder and Executive Creative Director of G&G Digital

Today’s discerning customers have high expectations from the brands they choose to associate with. According to the 2020 Consumer Culture Report, 71% of customers prefer to buy from brands that align with their values, while 83% of Millennials stress the importance of value alignment. When values don’t align, customers will shift quickly and are not afraid to permanently boycott brands because of their stance on issues.

Aside from ensuring sustainability by reducing the impact on the environment and positively uplifting the communities in which they operate, it’s important that your marketing efforts communicate those values effectively and authentically.

“When brands operate with a conscience and place their customers and the greater good at the centre of everything they do, they will build trust and deliver real value to their customers, communities, and ultimately their bottom line,” said Desirée Gullan, co-founder and Executive Creative Director of G&G Digital.

Gullan adds that at the core of ethical marketing is authentic empathy and true purpose. “When brands prioritise long-term values over short-term financial gain, they become more meaningful, trustworthy and build enduring loyalty.”

Four ways brands should demonstrate values

  1. Get to know customers
    Step into your customers’ shoes. Use analytics, surveys, and customer feedback to gain an understanding of their demographics and behaviours. In addition, get out there and connect with customers. Events, experiences (whether online or offline), customer service and social media are excellent vehicles to gain valuable insights into your customers as people not data sets.
  1. Authentic conversations
    Customers will skip over highly processed content in the search for meaningful, authentic experiences and messages. Get your brand out of its glass case. Staid and monotonous key messaging according to static brand strategies can become irrelevant quickly. Be real, authentic, tell it like it is. Get your customers to do the talking for you.
  1. Make emotional connections
    The point isn’t to drive customers to tears, but to resonate. When brands commit–from the heart–to operate in a world they care about with content that is true and adds value, they will reap rewards, more than just financial. This includes, owning your mistakes, for example, should you face quality or service issues, or let a customer down, honesty is important, own your mistakes, apologise even, with authenticity. This humanises your brand and will earn respect.
  1. Journey with your customers
    Pivot away from industry best practices and expected initiatives. Leave jargon out of it and rather seek out real connections. Facilitate spaces for your customers to make their own memories with your brand at their side and be consistent in tone and sentiment across all touchpoints.

Consumers of all ages have evolved, particularly since the pandemic. People favour scrutiny, are less quick to part with their money, are over insincere marketing initiatives, and are less trusting of big business. Your consumers are looking for real connections. The sooner brands get real with their customers and get real with their responsibility to the sustainability of the planet, the sooner they will not only make an impact in their people’s lives, but also to the greater good.

Why less is more on social media

Why less is more on social media

By Desirée Gullan, Co-founder and Executive Creative Director of G&G Digital

There’s no doubt that social media is an essential component of all business-to-consumer marketing and communications strategies, however, the big question is: How many channels are enough?

A recent study by Hootsuite found that oversaturating social media with brand content — especially repeated content — across many channels, causes audiences to zone out, skip content, and, worst of all, unfollow. This is not good news for marketing professionals who go to great effort and cost to acquire followers in the first place.

“It all begins with understanding your audience and the spaces they occupy”, said Desirée Gullan, Executive Creative Director of G&G Digital. “Then you can craft value-adding content that speaks to your audiences in the channels they love. Doing so allows you to have a trusted voice on social media, as opposed to bombarding your target audience with generic content everywhere.”

Here are the 4 key aspects to consider when selecting your social media channels:

1. Who uses this channel and what are they using it for?

Is it an important channel for your target personas?

What conversations are going on here?

What content type works best?

2. Will this channel help you achieve your objectives?

Why does it make sense for your business or brand to use this channel?

What goals will you pursue through your activities here?

3. Does the channel align with your content mission?

Will your content be viewed as unique and valuable, or will the community find it intrusive or irrelevant?

Have your competitors established a strong presence?

Could you lead the conversation on this channel for your brand’s positioning?

4. What results do you want to achieve?

What should you be asking followers to do after engaging with our content — share, comment, visit, subscribe or shop?

Is the community likely to take an action?

Do you have the right metrics, monitoring, and KPIs to measure success?

What kinds of content work best on this platform?

Is your content strategy relevant to this audience?

“Talk to your audience, not at them,” Gullan adds. “People trust brands that give back, whether you’re providing valuable information, entertaining, sharing news, or simply providing a safe place where they can be with other people going through similar experiences.”

Tools such as Hootsuite, Agora or Buffer make social media management easier and aggregate your posts over several platforms using real-time stats, however, repetitive posts on multiple platforms run the risk of brand blindness and unsatisfied target audiences wondering why they’re seeing duplicated content.

This leaves marketing professionals with the challenge of not just streamlining social media presence, but also making content that matters. “Quality over quantity is the rule of thumb – take more time strategising and producing relevant content for your channel that connects and adds value to your followers,” concluded Gullan.