Pushing products isn’t what it used to be. Consumers in 2017 often tune out a message when they feel they’re being sold to. Today’s consumers aren’t just looking for products to buy; they’re looking for solutions to their problems. Marketers are quickly learning that brand experiences that serve their target audiences are becoming more and more effective.
Rob Rakowitz, Global Director of Media at Mars, is a firm believer in building these better brand experiences. His marketing team has launched a series of campaigns for Mars products that provide valuable information to the consumer, and the results have been sweet so far.
You can learn more about Rakowitz’s brand experience strategies in his interview with Drew Neisser on the Renegade Thinkers Unite podcast below.
In the meantime, here are six components of Rakowitz’s strategy that can help your company improve its brand experiences.
1. Know Your Message
Learn how your target audience behaves in relation to your product, and craft your brand message around those needs. Rakowitz mentions how Uncle Ben’s, one of Mars’s many brands, complements other customer behaviors. For example, the marketing team noticed that people who start meals with rice tend to choose a lean meat or a vegetable to go along with it. As a result, Uncle Ben’s keeps healthy eating at the core of its message. Rakowitz says, “Uncle Ben’s is about helping consumers make great food choices on a daily basis.” In sum, if you can learn more about your target’s behavior you can deliver a brand message that sticks.
2. Keep It Simple
Media outlets and their functions are much more diversified than they used to be. The way a company communicates on Facebook may be totally different from the way it advertises on TV or radio. Marketing a distinct brand message can get complicated quickly because of this diversification. Rakowitz urges advertisers to keep things simple. “I find that the more you can simplify down what it is that [your company is] trying to do from a vision perspective,” he says, “the better an idea travels.” Once you settle on a clear brand message, keep it at the heart of every experience you create.
3. Give the People What They Want
When a brand creates content of value for the target audience, its message resonates. Uncle Ben’s once marketed a healthy food-driven campaign in the UK, releasing videos of a celebrity chef showing users how to prepare healthy meals. Given the target’s interest in healthy eating, this campaign yielded great business results for Mars. In other words, center your campaigns around relevant content that consumers will want to see.
4. Put Service Before Selling
Creating a great brand experience doesn’t necessarily mean pushing a product. Whiskas, a cat food lined owned by Mars, launched a campaign that educated consumers above all else. Rakowitz explains that the campaign, Kitten Kollege, featured a series of videos that taught kitten owners about their pets’ life stages and development. These videos offered valuable information as well as entertainment, providing an impactful brand experience. Rakowitz notes that the campaign drove business even though the videos focused on educating rather than product pushing. Prioritizing service over selling can help turn profits.
5. Diversify Your Strategy
Be ready to adapt to new platforms on the fly. Rakowitz states the importance of developing content for multiple platforms: “What you want to have is a video-neutral approach where you’re thinking about having multiple channels in combination,” he says. Different channels necessitate different types of content, so be agile in your approach.
Developing a knockout brand experience will get people talking about your product, so create content that’s valuable and shareable for your next campaign. Make it fun and entertaining, even—just as long as it’s relevant to your brand.