Running a business is not just a numbers game. You build a brand to interact with your customer group. This includes understanding their likes, dislikes, and societal “taboos”.
Gone are the days when a business would simply want to maximize sales.
Today, brands are going a step further, trying to build a connection with their customer, starting a conversation, and actually contributing to society.
Let me explain my point with an example.
6 pack Band” was a one-of-a-kind music video digital campaign by the much loved Indian tea brand Red Label.
This non-conventional campaign was recognized by Grand Prix and the 63rd International Festival Of Creativity at Cannes.
The video was about the struggles transgenders face in the country, yet smile their way through it. HUL saw the advantage of collaborating their product with this type of content.
The songs were all launched on music channels, YouTube, Television, and radio. Mobile operators had started to offer these catchy songs as caller tunes.
The band was invited to perform at major music awards like the Indian Music and Radio Mirchi Awards.
This whole campaign had managed to garner attention from 25 Million viewers and had gained some $ 1.5 million.
HUL has a “6 Pack Band 2.0” that deals with children with autism.
What this HUL understood well was how different, content is from advertising.
Being noticed by the distracted yet tech-savvy consumer today is a task.
No consumer would ever look out for TVC on YouTube.
Adverts wouldn’t make sense on social media platforms whereas content will do wonders.
Content is something that today’s consumer is looking out for.
Consumers want to be connected to causes and see celebrities. Interestingly, celebrities make use of such campaigns to work on their social responsibility image.
This becomes a win-win for everything gradually and makes the brand more popular.
With “6 Pack Brand”, HUL was very clear not to get pity views from the consumer.
Such campaigns cannot or should not be overtly advertised.
It irritates the consumer.
The consumer is looking out for great content and not just senseless Adverts that are thrown at them.
This campaign was all about content marketing and not commercial advertising.
You will see that the songs have very small and subtle inclusion of the brand in them.
They had realized that their consumer would associate these songs with their brand without having to advertise themselves in the content.
At Page Potato, we can help small-scale businesses launch social media campaigns around issues that you resonate with.
Our holistic social media strategies are not just about getting more views but starting a conversation and engaging your visitors.
How has consumer behavior changed over time?
Buyer behaviors have changed significantly since Millennials make for the major demographic of the population.
Millennials are very different from Gen X or the upcoming Gen Z. They are a socially aware, tech-savvy, independent, curious, and confident bunch who look for relevance over anything.
Today’s consumer is aware, outspoken, sensible, and expresses his discomforts freely. His/her curiosity makes him/her question the general norms that society has been following for ages.
He/she works consciously to understand and break taboos that do not make sense anymore.
Why should more brands get into busting these taboos?
Gone are the days of happily-ever-after commercials, the consumer looks forward to seeing what value addition you are doing as a brand.
Times like these make it crucial for marketers and brands to understand the change in buyer behavior.
This in return will help them connect with their consumer and create brand loyalty.
With the easy access to Technology, came a generation of self-educated and aware consumers.
Old styles of advertising do not make sense anymore.
The consumer is spoilt by options today.
He/she depends on statistics in form of video, adverts, campaigns, etc. before making buying decisions.
Usually, brands are skeptical about associating their brand names with the intention of normalizing an otherwise sensitive matter.
Associating yourself to taboos is certainly not an easy task.
The real question here is how can brands fight taboos without risks to grow as a business?
Commit to the cause you are fighting for
The cause that you are fighting with should be relatable and something that the consumer can connect to.
Be very sure about what your opinion about the cause is. It shows clearly to the audience when you are working with a cause that you don’t entirely believe in.
Pick your cause, be clear of your stance and stick to it.
If you are a brand that creates tampons, a campaign or a website to make young girls aware of the basics of Puberty will work.
At the same time, if you create adverts that directly or indirectly encourage body shaming or name-calling, it will be disastrous.
Find new and unique ways to contribute more towards fighting the cause in your future ventures too.
Being authentic in what you are doing keeps it simple for your consumer and for you as a brand.
Getting in touch with victims who have suffered because of the taboo in question, is a great way of doing it.
Do not try to micromanage the emotions attached to it.
This is again a great way of letting your consumer know that your brand actually understands the pain points of the taboo and is working for it.
Make use of Humor to break the ice
Humor is a great way not only to bring in a smile but also to break the uneasiness of the taboo.
The consumer knows that the taboo exists and is certainly disappointed with it.
But as a brand, you don’t want to give the image that you are both on the same side, and let’s lament together.
By using humor, you are saying that the brand as an entity feels the same way as the consumer and is part of the same social group.
A quick note: When it comes to using humor, ensure that you are punching up.
This basically means you are using comedy as a means to question the oppressive structures that cause the taboo in the first place.
Your stance should never be mocking the victims of the taboo. Humour is a powerful tool to connect with the oppressed and give them a safe space to vent.
It says how you have worked well to bring in changes. It makes the brand relatable and is the most efficient way to keep consumers engaged.
Don’t beat around the bushes, do it head-on
If you are just putting up the taboo in the public domain, you are giving an opportunity to endless debates and challenges.
This will leave them confused and will gradually distract them.
Form an opinion and put it in front of your consumer directly.
This will leave less space for ambiguity. The consumer has come to you for closure and not more points to leave him stressed and helpless.
Find partners and people who share similar views
The taboo you are working with will not resonate with everyone, for different reasons.
Make connections with the people and organizations that have similar thoughts as you.
These collaborations tend to be helpful to both parties and make your job easier. It is a great way of expanding your outlook on the topic.
Busting taboos with the help of brands is a taboo in itself.
If done well, it can lead to major gains, changed opinions, and better confrontations of the ugly truths.