Brand truth: I don’t care

…Are they really the tree huggers you’d hoped?

…about what you wish I cared about.

Way too many brands chase the fad of the day, thinking they can jump on a swell of consumer sentiment and rise those profits into the sunset.  No so fast, my friends.

For your brand to be effective, sticky and enduring — it has to be about what matters to your consumers.  They have to genuinely identify with it/care about it.  You can’t make them love you.  (Nod to Bonnie Raitt)  No matter how hot the trend is or how passionate you might personally be.

Case in point — a recent study done by OgilvyEarth (I’m pretty sure David Ogilvy rolls his eyes from the grave on that one) shows that most consumers aren’t buying the whole “green movement.” In particular, men are not motivated or swayed by green marketing messages.  It turns out that their perception when they hear green is “more expensive.”

So playing to the trend is actually hurting those brands who hoped that men would be moved to pull out their wallets based on the green movement marketing position.

Time to do your own brand check.  Are you trying to force an idea, value or belief at your core audience?  Or…do you know yourself and your core audience so well that you know what brings you together?

And before you are quick to answer…be ready to tell me this.  HOW do you know that your brand is what truly resonates in the hearts of your core audience?


Hat tip to Kami Watson Huyse for tweeting the Ogilvy link.


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5 comments on “Brand truth: I don’t care

  1. This is true, and a very good point. Consumers are not as interested in being ‘green’ when it comes down to paying extra cash for it. Unfortunately it seems to be morality v. money. Creating social value to your brand, for example Toms shoes, is a great move as long as you truly understand your audience. One way to gaining this insight is really listening to current and potential clients.

    1. Haley,

      Toms shoes is a great example — they make helping seem very tangible and cool. My daughter owns 2 pairs of Toms and loves wearing them and telling the story about how she helped buy shoes for kids who go without.

      Maybe in terms of the green movement — it’s not a morality versus money thing as much as how tangible your helping seems?


  2. Al Pittampalli says:

    Wow, this is a great insight, and not surprising. I think the same thing when I see Green products.

    I think one of the only ways to know for sure if your product/brand resonates is to test it out. Asking people rarely works (people didn’t know they wanted the iPad until they saw it).

    1. Al,

      Hard to argue with cold, hard facts. Of course testing can work the other way too. I can love something and really want it until I have to pull out my wallet! We consumers are odd creatures.


  3. Emily Carter says:

    Great point, Drew. Many companies take a concept and push it onto the consumers, thinking that they’ve created a trend. The truth is, the customer has the power. With the internet at their fingertips, consumers are able to make educated buying decisions despite what companies may try to project. That’s why we focus on inbound marketing, and providing relevant content to those customers. That way, they know enough to make the educated, best purchase decision. We put together a list of the ways to capture customers through inbound, and it can be found here: Enjoy!

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