You Can’t Push Us Around Anymore
A brand, any brand, represents a promise. And under the ribs of that promise is always a product and a service hero, or not. Your product either motivates brand prowess and value, or it does not. Your brand either allows your product to earn a few more pennies than a competitor on the shelf, or not. Your brand and product union on the shelf should motivate consumer preference and subjugate brand competitors at the same time—or it does not.
It’s not how you push your brand and products through our CE marketplace today, but rather, it is how your brand and products, like magnets, not only motivate consumers but pull them to you, to your shelf space, to your profitable future, or not.
Consumers refuse to be pushed around in a socially networked world of instant gratification, instant communications, instant knowledge, instant publishing of consumers’ opinions, truculent observations and perhaps glowing recommendations.
These words further suggest that legacy push advertising and marketing effectiveness grind and rust against our newly anointed consumer-centric, consumer-social-commanding marketing wisdom. If you agree, then the product itself, as proven assiduously by our most successful CE brands, is the truest definition of effective pull marketing.
As example, so many brands have jumped in bright and early to bring wearable and mobile “timepieces” to market. Apple, in competitive contrast, knows their smartly tested, consumer-demanded product heroism in design, cosmetics and connected usability is the essence of their brand advantage: It is their most powerful weapon against competitive brands, against a multitude of early entries into new wearable market opportunities.
Call me the “Master of The Obvious;” however, Apple’s strategy of seemingly sluggish time-to-launch will actually produce superior product cosmetics, design, user interface and as always, brilliant packaging. Apple, through its burnished, highly successful products and product experiences, defines lasting, savvy, profit-minded pull marketing. Apple, to my knowledge, has never pushed consumers around through advertising, but rather masterfully has pulled them into a world of emotional capital through each and every touch point, including its physical stores.
Advertising, marketing and communications have been hyper-changing, digitally evolving and digitally racing to catch up to a new consumer-commanding, consumer-empowered socially connected society. This is a new cloud society—residing, playing, working, buying, sharing, declaring and caring about friends, neighbors and even strangers: all connected, all electing to declare in a united voice: “Brands can’t push me or my friends around anymore.” Consumer digital prowess, social determination and instant network gratification, in congress with kinetic arrays of digital consumer apps, changes everything for marketers. It’s everything for us!
“Everything” includes the need for a marketing core that is smartly built, socially engaging and technologically architected to pull consumers to your brand. Beyond determining and employing the right technology platform, CMOs today must also orchestrate an equally fueling brand and product relationship amplified through their sales organization, marketing communications, product PR and all consumer-facing brick-and-cloud engagements.
Best-of-breed CMOs are as astute and aggressive regarding their SEO&M (Search Engine Optimization & Marketing) chores as they are about the greater advantage of big data pulling consumers through their SCRM (Social Customer Relationship Management) platform. Savvy digital marketers know that the old push-advertising acronym of B2C (Business to Consumer) has forever been digitally and socially changed to C2C (Consumer to Consumer). Consumers pull and influence other consumers socially, emotionally, effectively, quickly and inexpensively. Marketers that discover and architect socially minded, socially relevant brand and product engagements are in fact uniting sales, marketing, communications and profitable ROI (return on investment) into an ambient pull platform, designed for market growth.
For CE brands within our new C2C marketplace, “you are what you create.” Socially charged, socially savvy brands that strive and succeed in being world-class product-category creators are market-, revenue- and profit-advantaged. Pull tactics are a torrid extension of superior product category creation and product uniqueness. Pulling consumers through their social networks is C2C-amplified based upon superior products, cosmetics, design and digital cloud usability. In essence, simple, standard consumer products are much harder to pull through social networks, while unique, advanced, newly conceived and created product designs will fly through social networks like greased lightning.
Socially pulling consumers to superior-crafted products delivers you fast market advantage, offers your most effective ROI, and will be your most profitable money-maker. Pushing consumers towards “me-too” products is hard at any price point, with any brand, on any shelf, in any market. n