"These brands are now ingrained in their customers lives, they have become a friend (of sorts) and there is a sound commercial reason for this strategy. You are more likely to buy from a 'friend' than someone you don't know."
- Peter Mountstevens
Well I'm back! So straight after my saying a final goodbye to my father, I left straight after his funeral on a meditation retreat which had been planned for many months. Sometimes I wonder about the timing of things in our lives. Needless to say, it was just what I needed. However, now that I've been catapulted back into the real world, there's been much to catch up on. I didn't miss the crazy, frenetic life of business I must admit, and am consciously incorporating more balance into my life.
Anyway, I'm being a bit lazy this week as my brain isn't in full swing yet, so I decided to share with you a great article that I came across from Virgin.com. There is so much truth to this article and it's insightful. And what resonated with me, and it's something I'm seeing and hearing more and more is that our customers are sick and tired of being sold to. People no longer want to be treated as a commodity or just as a number without a face. People want real, authentic connection. There is so much 'disconnection' with amount of information we are bombarded with and the pressure of keeping up with mainstream business or society, that we've lost the ability to really listen and communicate effectively with not only the people around us, but our customers. So we are finding it challenging to really understand what it is they truly want or how to best serve them. The ability to slow down and really consider the wellbeing and needs of the person we are trying to reach out to will become more paramount to the success of your business and mine. And the great thing is, the side-effect will also bring more clarity and create deeper, more fulfilling relationships with the people nearest and dearest to you--it really does create a ripple effect with exponential results.
So here's the start of the article, and you'll see the link below to go to the full article. As a side-note, I feel a little uncomfortable with use of the word 'entertainment' in this article. To me it denotes a degree of shallowness in our customers. But hey, that just might be me being a little precious--I like to think that my customers are intelligent and discerning.
You want your company to get coverage in the national press. But you’d ideally like them just to feature a couple of nice images of your handmade candles, with some prices and a web link. At a time of your choosing.
It doesn’t work like that anymore (if it ever did). To get the best coverage (and sustain it), brands need to have something to say. A press release announcing a, "New range of candles from Candleford candlemaker" just isn’t going to cut it.And if this seems like a joke, ask any journalist to share the contents of their press release-heavy inbox.
"Every brand has a story to tell," says Peter Mountstevens, managing partner at brand communications agency Taylor Herring, whose clients include Samsung, Paddy Power, Kelloggs, UKTV and Diageo. "On a basic level this is a story rooted in the service they provide, their reason for being and the history of the company," Mountstevens says, "These foundations combined with customer insights allow brands to distil a personality, with a distinct tone of voice and a clear view of their position and the world they exist in."
Brand storytelling is hugely important if firms want to survive and thrive, says Mountstevens, "A recent study found that most people wouldn’t care if 74 per cent of the worlds brands disappeared tomorrow. This is worrying news for the majority of companies doing business today. The message is a clear one - whether you make toilet rolls or soft drinks, today every brand is an entertainment brand that needs to work hard at engaging their core consumers above and beyond their basic product offering."
The brands that are thriving, says Mountstevens, are the 'firms of endearment'. "These are the companies who have a clear manifesto, the companies who stand on their soapbox and consistently keep us entertained. Consumers have taken these brands to their hearts, they follow them on social media and enjoying hearing from them."
Read the full article here to find out what Peter Mountstevens believes makes a good story.
Enjoy and have a great week!
Kerry :) x