This is the second part of a four-part series: “Four Myths That Will Ruin Your Brand“
Read part one here: Myth #1: Anyone Can Market
Everyone Should Love Your Brand As Much As You Do
You may ask yourself, “Why don’t my Facebook posts get shared?” “Why don’t we get more calls?” “Why didn’t that funny video with the oversized hat go viral?”
You could boil it down to this question: “Why don’t more people interact with us?”
To answer that question, you can’t start from your own perspective; you must begin with your customer’s point of view.
Your Customer’s First Hour of the Day
He (or she) wakes up from an incredibly comfortable sleep in his Tempur-pedic bed. He slaps the top of his Sony alarm clock that woke him via one of his Spotify playlists (“Rise and Shinedown”).
Downstairs, Starbucks coffee begins percolating through his Chemex Ottomatica.
Bleary-eyed, he grabs his iPhone and checks his Gmail and Carrot weather app, after which he proceeds to the shower where Dove body soap and Revitalize shampoo await. Clean and dry, he dresses in a Calvin Klein suit.
Outside, he tosses his Samsonite briefcase onto the passenger seat of his Lexus RC-F as he sets the home security system with his Nest app.
Light meditative music plays through his Infinity speakers thanks to his XM Radio subscription. Google Maps navigation guides him toward his first client.
Still wondering why he doesn’t care about your brand as much as you do?
Seriously, that was 17 brands in just the first hour of your customer’s day!
Nobody Loves Your Baby More Than You
We live in a brand-shaped world. From the moment we wake up until the second we drift into unconsciousness, we are inundated by brands. Even when we’re killing time on social media, brands are wishing us happy holidays, commenting on the Super Bowl, and forcing videos into our feeds. They’re ubiquitous.
If you’re a parent, you may know what it’s like for your child to come home from preschool with something she finger-painted that day. As you look at it, you think, There’s serious promise here!
Then, when your friends come over, they laugh a bit. In front of you. You protest, “Don’t you think that’s amazing?” They’re forced to lie to you, saying nice things, but the reality is that it looks like a five-year-old finger-painted it.
You can apply the same thinking to your agency. If your business is your baby, you’re at a terrible starting point. If you make decisions on behalf of our agency as its mother or father, you need to take off the rose-colored glasses and get some external help.
Boasting through Facebook about your company’s greatness won’t cut through the noise that perpetually surrounds your customer. Why? Because it’s just noise! Pepsi can say they’re the best, and it’s pure noise, but they’ve also got a multi-million dollar marketing budget and Cardi B for a spokesperson.
You don’t. You’ve got…you…with an oversized hat. That’s totally fine, as long as that’s part of your brand. If you want to present your agency as self-effacing, humorous, and light-hearted, then such a homespun video on your iPhone is appropriate.
But don’t expect too much.
If you can be more sensual than the Tempur-pedic bed, more gratifying than the Starbucks coffee, and more luxurious than the Lexus, then you will get your customer’s attention. You have to earn the right to become part of their day. It won’t happen simply because you love your baby.
That’s one of the hardest realities to accept: people may buy insurance from you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want you in the feed of their daily lives. You’re the finger-painting by a five-year-old that won’t get much more than a disinterested glance. They don’t know how much you’ve sweat and toiled to build your agency…and they don’t care. It’s insurance!
Now, when they have to make a claim, then they will be intensely interested in your agency. They’ll eagerly seek you out. That’s when your brand will have the opportunity to shine—through your excellent customer service, attention to detail, and devotion to your client’s satisfaction.
Then maybe, just maybe, they’ll sing your praises to their friends, neighbors, co-workers, and anyone else who brings up insurance. Believe me, that’s more effective than any quirky social media gambit you want to try.
Putting It into Action
If you want to take steps toward being less biased about your brand:
- Remember: your customers interact with dozens of brands throughout their day. Those brands often put physical products in their hands. Insurance, while valuable, doesn’t work that way.
- You have to earn the right to become part of your customer’s day by transcending their experience of other brands.
- Remember that nobody loves your baby more than you. That’s okay, as long as you don’t expect otherwise.
The Third Myth: Marketing Is The Only Team Responsible For The Brand