Thursday, 9 April 2015

What does ice cream have to do with your wellbeing? And a bank with your IT skills?

Is this the end of brands having a single, clear USP? 

No, that’s just a scaremongering tactic I’ve picked up from a lot of online marketing I see about. (Put something divisive and provocative in the title to “grab attention” or, should that be, annoy SLASH disappoint people.) A much better modern marketing tendency I have observed I refer to in the title of this post.

Barclays are digital eagles and code coaches.

And Häagen Dazs, in collaboration with The School of Life, are now counsellors.

Interesting. Since when did a bank need to be more than a bank? And when did ice cream need to be something more than fun, frivolous, an indulgence?

Since technology has enabled marketers to do something fundamental throughout all of human existence in a brand new context and on a massive scale – INTERACT. Talk to (not at) and with more people, more effectively, even if they’re total strangers.

Nowadays we value real interactions with the brands we live alongside. And social media is a great enabler of this. However, all too often a brand limits the conversation to the product or service on offer. The result is boring. It impedes any real connection, cuts dead any sense of a relevant, meaningful interaction.

But here are two brands that have taken an approach to marketing that opens up the conversation and takes it into places you wouldn’t expect. My bank can teach me binary. Dessert helps me gain a healthier outlook. They’ve both looked beyond the products they sell and seen there’s more to marketing themselves than the hard sell.

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