Hot on the heels of Super Bowl 50, you know what’s on my mind? Was it the Broncos’ defense? Was it Miller’s domination of the game forcing the fumbles that turned into touchdowns? Was it knowing that this was maybe Peyton Manning’ last game, last ever Super Bowl? No! What’s on my mind, what’s on everybody’s mind, are the commercials! Right? Some people, I won’t say just the ladies, but some people only watch the Super Bowl for exactly that reason, the commercials!
So what is it about the commercials that makes people give up a few hours on a Sunday just to see them? Is it the clever marketing? Well, marketing really only creates a push for a product, or a service. Marketing provides a message, a promotion – buy our product/service/ support our cause! So no, it’s not about the marketing, it’s really about the branding! Now most of us as consumers don’t really know about this branding stuff, other than we feel it happening during those commercials. Branding creates a pull, not a push. It draws us in. It makes us feel good, sad, happy – emotional! It creates a bond, a feeling of knowing that this “Brand” gets it! Like a friend! Listen carefully, branding – is – building – a – relationship!
Now, if we put our business hats on we realize – THAT’S what we need to create! A brand! A recognition among people that yes, he/she/they can help me out, I’m pretty sure I like them and trust them. Branding is subtle and creates warm fuzzies, a connection to the product, service, cause etc., by touching us somehow. How about the Audi commercial – throw in a little Bowie (thanks for the music, David), some pictures of astronauts, a middle aged man looking back on his life and all that could have been, and his son throws him the keys to his new Audi and boom – he gets behind the wheel and you see him instantly feeling young and connected and full of hope again!
How about Budweiser playing on the need of all ages in our country to feel united somehow with all the negativity and divisiveness going on in the current political mish mash? They show people from all backgrounds and ages pulling together over one thing they can agree on! Beer! And the type of beer they like to drink – Budweiser! A common basis for moving forward together, not divided, something we all wish deep down!
Did they say buy an Audi? No. Did they say buy Budweiser? No. They made the middle aged feel young and full of dreams again – which just happened to be when driving their Audi. They made people of all ages and backgrounds feel like “yeah, we have things in common”, which just happened to be by everyone drinking Budweiser. They touched us. They made the connection.
Connect with your customers! Give them those feelings of a trusted friend, someone who “gets it!” Build your brand, show that you understand their struggles, their regrets, their hopes! You can help put them in a home, help them feel happy again, safe, proud – their “American Dream” realized! Let them know that, show yourself everywhere – community, social networks, celebrations, and with friends and family. Be that “friend”, that connection they automatically feel when trying to fulfill their need. Marketers used to go after what was called “wallet share” – a piece of your dollar. Then they went after what was called “mind share” – planted a seed in your mind. But what should we really be going for?
Connection on the most basic level – emotions, let them know “you get it”! But, do it sincerely! Really know that you can help them. Really know that connecting on a deep level in order to help them realize their dream is what you really want to do, and then feel that in your own heart because people can spot a fake a mile away. Build your brand like that and you will have all the business you can handle