Out with the TRENDS, in with SUBSTANCE
By Matthew Kelly, Head of Digital and eCommerce @ PRECIOUS
Every year I GOOGLE and read articles upon articles on the top trends for the year ahead. 95% of them are mostly the same – informative but lacking substance with most of them being rinse and repeats from the previous year. I suspect half of the articles are actually written solely to increase search rankings.
I could happily reel off the same trends myself for the year ahead – SEO, Programmatic, Voice, Podcasting! There we go - I did. The harsh reality, if marketers and brands want to succeed and maximise their efforts, then they need to take a step back.
Take a Step Back to Move Forwards
I continually see brands trying to entice me through their doors (online and offline) through the same methods - discounting – short term sales tactics that do more harm than good. I'm forever asking myself these questions.
Did the promotional tactic work = Potentially Yes. I clicked OR I went into the store.
Did I purchase = Not always but on occasions, I did
Did I go back to repurchase = No
Why? = No discount. I’ve associated that brand with discounting. I’m now unwilling to buy at RRP
I call this the ‘short-term gain; long-term pain syndrome’. You only have to look at well-known brands who are struggling or on the verge of closure – the latest Superdry and John Lewis profit warnings. Mothercare will seize to exist in the near future – having two young daughters, I find this extremely disheartening. This was often a sanctuary for my wife and I over the weekend – ‘Soft Play’ offloading to burn off some energy!
Whilst business rates have undoubtedly played a major role in the high street and brand decline, the ability for brands not to reinvent and diversify their offering to appeal to their demographic is the real shame! Fortnum & Mason is a great example of a 'bricks and clicks' model that has evolved and IS WORKING.
The BUZZ drivers for 2020
In my opinion, the buzz for 2020 is STORYTELLING and COMMUNITIES backed up with Innovation, Inspirational and Authenticity. Let me elaborate.
Believe it or not, every one of us is a storyteller. It’s just leveraging that trait to deliver a story that creates empathy. Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to breathe life into your brand – whether it’s being innovative in a new approach or repurposing existing creative for the here and now.
How a person feels about your brand typically determines whether they buy your product or service. If a brand is continuously discounting – then the consumer will forever associate that brand with discounting. Through thought provoking and carefully constructed copy and creative, brands have the ability to alter their perception.
By giving your products and services an identity by capturing and sharing the stories they really are, you can take your audience on a journey they yearn to experience. In short, for consumers to form a personal connection with your brand, company stories must be authentic, creative and inspirational.
How can you do this? By listening to your audience and relating to your brand, you can stand out from the crowd and gain traction. Continually evolve and don't stay stagnant.
Think Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest. Let’s use an example of a brand – say Hotel Chocolat. Across their social channels, they have built up a cumulative count of just over 480,000 followers. Impressive, YES.
Let’s say hypothetically they launch a new product. Realistically, an organic post is only going to reach about 5% of their audience at best – that’s just 24,000. If you post a link on social, it is actually decreasing the organic reach of the post. Organic reach has been on decline for some time now. Why? Because social brands want your money. Through algorithms you are being less noticed! Whilst brands should be investing and putting money into these channels, they also need to be looking at the bigger picture. You, as a brand, need to own that channel and relationship with your customers.
How can you do this? SMS and Broadcasting. By building your own community, you become far more powerful.
Brand Storytelling Converts Casual Shoppers into Die-Hard Fans
We have used brand storytelling ‘content to commerce’ approach to deliver a 200%+ Return on Advertising Sales (delivering £200 in sales for every £100 spent on media) for clients including Diageo – building brand equity and driving sales through storytelling.
Diageo Reserve utilised brand storytelling through a five-part travel series World Class List that saw aspiring drinks enthusiast Carey Watkins explore the best of what to eat and drink in key cities around the world. The documentary features some of the world’s top bartenders explaining how to make the best cocktails using Diageo Reserve brands such as Johnnie Walker, Ketel One, CÎROC and Don Julio. The content was distributed across Amazon Prime platforms that allowed consumers to not only be inspired by their favourite cocktail recipes but conveniently purchase Diageo Reserve products.
Precious is a content marketing and digital commerce agency that helps brands use content to improve sales. Get in touch with us today to find out more.