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Let’s Be The Change

Let’s Be The Change

The Facts

We’ve reached a point where brands can no longer, and should no longer, stay silent about broad-reaching social issues. Employees are speaking up to hold their employers accountable to their own missions, and customers are loyal to brands they believe align with their personal values − whether that’s about sustainable practices such as the use of plastic water bottles or livable wages. It’s an exciting time for consumers and employees and is also the right time for brands to be thoughtful.

Spiker Insights

Supporting causes as a brand is important. You have a platform and audience that can be used for social good. But even with the best of intentions, supporting a social cause can cost brand equity if consumers sniff out inauthenticity.

However, there are steps you can take to ensure supporting a social cause, particularly when it’s tied to a marketing campaign, does not go awry: 1. Pick your cause(s). Try to stick to one that matters to your employees and customers, but be aware there are a multitude of worthy causes out there. 2. Rally employee engagement and internal alignment. If you don’t have internal buy-in, taking a stance on a social issue is never going to appear authentic, because it isn’t. 3. Understand what you’re trying to accomplish. What creates authenticity is recognizing what you want to achieve as a brand and owning that.

Today, brands can’t stay silent, and we shouldn’t be afraid to try and affect change. Let’s be the change.

Experiences, Not Things

Experiences, Not Things

The Facts

A recent 20-year study conducted by Dr. Thomas Gilovich at Cornell came to the conclusion: Don’t spend your money on things. The trouble with things is that the happiness they provide fades quickly. 1. We get used to new possessions and tire of them quickly; 2. We keep raising the bar, and are always on the lookout for an even better one; and 3. The Joneses are always lurking nearby, and we are thrilled with our possession until a friend buys a better one − and somebody always has a better one. It’s America after all. I once had a client with a private jet and he loved it until the day he parked it next to a Boeing Business Jet in Vegas, and it wasn’t long before he had one of those.

Spiker Insights

One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation. We all buy things to make us happy, and for the most part we succeed − but only for a while. But then we adapt to them. Gilovich found that experiences, as fleeting as they may be, deliver most-lasting happiness over “things.” 1. Experiences become a part of our identity. We are not our possessions, but we are the accumulation of everything we’ve seen and done and places we’ve been; and 2. Comparison matters little. We don’t compare experiences in the same way that we compare things. It’s hard to quantify the relative value of my two-week fly-fishing trip in Chile to yours in New Zealand. And finally, experiences are enjoyable from the very first moments of planning, all the way through to the memories you cherish forever. Things may last longer, but memories that linger are what matter most.

Get Emotional

Get Emotional

The Facts

By now we should all know that people tend to choose brands quickly, using their intuitive brain rather than rationally thinking this through with their deliberative brain. Most purchases in a grocery store for instance are made on instinct and habit. Mom bought Crest, Cheerios and Band Aids for you growing up, and you still use Crest, Cheerios and Band Aids today. Brand choices are driven primarily by emotion, feeling and consistent experiences.

Spiker Insights

People still don’t make brand choices based on logical arguments (as many in our industry still like to believe), rather the more you feel for a brand, the more likely you will be loyal to those brands. I’m a Disney guy. It never even occurs to me to consider Universal Studios. To me, Big Sky is the best ski resort in the country − been to Aspen and all the others, but prefer the runs and the attitude of Big Sky. It takes a strong credible reason for people to change their attitude toward a brand. If the favorable brand keeps building its brand’s emotional experiences with me, I don’t ever see me or anyone else change their brand preferences. So stay the course and build emotion into your marketing and don’t ever screw it up.

Celebrating Unity and Diversity?

Celebrating Unity and Diversity?

The Facts
You no doubt saw that Coca-Cola had one commercial associated with the big football game a week ago. And it only ran before the national anthem. Because, in their words, they aimed to bring people together to celebrate their differences. They felt that running it within the game, America’s divisive culture would take over and ruin the moment for their message of Unity and Diversity. It was Coke’s hope that the viewers would come together as a country to sing our national anthem in unison across this great land.

Spiker Insights
Who do they think they are kidding? A majority of the dissension in this country involves our national anthem with football players not standing or even being present on the field during the playing of the song. Also, a majority of Americans think the big game is an inappropriate place for advertisers to make political statements. We want to watch football and not be reminded of the government shut down or what the Washington rats are up to. And not to mention the hassles of getting all the food and beverage out on the table prior to the kickoff, and the last bathroom break till half time. It’s a busy time right before the playing of our national anthem. I think Coke tried to be too PC and missed out on its opportunity to be heard and noticed.