Creatures of Habit

Brands and marketers spend a lot of time and money with “new and exciting” initiatives based purely on trends that are influencing their consumers. But what they should be doing is improving their existing products and marketing efforts based on consumer habits.

As consumers, we are programmed to intuitively select the products and brands we need based on what looks familiar (e.g., the easiest decision to make). And as marketers, “the goal is to make consumers repeat their purchases by matching the value proposition to their needs.” Consumers don’t want to spend the mental energy when shopping (online or in-store for that matter), so why make them?

Branding, Design, Advertising, MarketingThe solution for brands lies within understanding the habits of their consumers, and evolving or improving upon them based on what their brains are programmed to be looking for. And unless consumers are absolutely screaming for a change, and the return is solid for your business, then making a dramatic change is no bueno.

Brands like Coke, Tropicana, GAP, and many more have undergone redesigns in some capacity over the years. Consumers didn’t demand it. They weren’t educated on the change, nor provided a real rationale. The result was backlash, and even a decline in sales, which pushed the brands to quickly go back to the original. A lot of time and money lost. However, sometimes it pays off (only if the demand is there), but often times it doesn’t.

There are more examples and insights we could share, but we simply don’t have the time, nor blog post space to do so. That said, we want to leave you with this very simple message: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if you decide to fix it, make sure you do it in a way that doesn’t disrupt the habits of your consumers.

Marc-eting 101: Hello Digital, Meet Analog

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Today, most businesses are riding the waves of digital marketing. When asked, “Where do you think the non-digital brand experience fits in?” here is what Marc Sampogna, Canopy’s Managing Director, had to say…

As we continue to see the world of marketing shift further and further into digital, we have to ask ourselves: Does the analog (print, TV, OOH) brand experience fit in anymore? Well, of course it does. But it’s really a matter of how brands and marketers want to spend their budgets. As we know, digital is the most efficient means to reach an audience, measure it, and do it with more modest budgets. But does it leave the profound impact that non-digital channels and tactics leave? The answer is…. not yet! Traditional media has made efforts to tie-in their digital platforms to ensure their brands are accessible, relevant and shareable. But digital isn’t designed to return the favor. So, what’s the outcome? Well, as marketers, we need to recognize the new paradigm, and be very picky about how and where we want to connect with our target. It comes down to who they are and where they get information. Gen X, Y, Millennials, are all digitally connected and rely on this to drive their purchasing patterns. And that makes up a significant piece of the market. Boomers and above are adjusting, but have greater appreciation for traditional because they grew up with it. And while I continue to ramble on, I’m not sure if I’m answering the question of whether or not non-digital/traditional/analog brand experiences fit in anywhere. But if I look at how cyclical trends have become, from fashion to art, I’d have to say this would apply to marketing. Digital will at some point evolve to finally turning around and introducing itself to analog, and who knows, maybe they’ll get along.

 

The Changing Times

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It’s nothing new or surprising to learn that traditional newspapers are struggling. Online news sources are both cheaper and more efficient for consumers. But, there is still something to say about the quality and trustworthiness of old-school newspapers, especially the likes of The New York Times or The Washington Post.

There are reports that The New York Times may soon introduce another subscription, a shorter newspaper, to try and keep it’s print business as profitable as possible. The newspaper would be offered at a lower price point and likely include a digital subscription. This version could have a positive influence on the younger audience who want a quick-to-read newspaper that fits their lifestyle of needing information in the most efficient way possible.

It will be interesting to see the influence this change will have on print newspaper advertising.

What Sparks our Fire: The New York Times looking for new ways to continue engaging consumers and addressing the shift to digital.

Would you be interested in a shorter version of The New York Times?

The Test of Time

Brands are aware that they must continually evolve in order to stay relevant in a society filled with noise. Gillette is an example of one brand that has already withstood the test of time. They make a testament to that in their new advertisement for their first ever men’s body razor.

The video takes an evolutionary approach to depict the different hairstyles of men over the last 100 years. The spot is a great nod to how Gillette has managed to handle the ever-changing landscape of product development and advertising.

Radioshack on the other hand is an example of a company that hasn’t managed to keep up with the world today, and is currently on the brink of failure. The dominance of e-commerce and competition from internet-based companies such as Amazon chip away at the profits of those companies that can’t keep up. Gillette has managed to do quite the opposite. And no matter how strange it seems that men want to shave more than just their faces, they embrace it.

What Sparks our Fire: The success of a brand that continually faces the changing times and excels at it.

What other brands can you think of that manage to withhold the challenges of change?