Okay, so you’re a rocket scientist?
That don’t impress me much
A client once told me, the interaction between a brand and the audience can be seen as a romantic date. I think it’s an excellent analogy for those who are grasping to understand how brands interact with consumers (thanks and credit to Jason Coates if you are reading this)
What is a bad date? It’s an encounter when a person keeps talking about himself again, and again, and again, bragging about his achievements, his properties, his favorite vacation. It’s gonna make his potential lover sitting across him yawn, or worse, try to pry for the nearest exit.
What is, in contrast, a good date? You both talk, you laugh, you ask about each other and find common interests. In some indeterminable moment, ah hah! you suddenly find yourselves click. That’s the beginning of romance. The beginning of marriage and children, of baby cries, dirty diapers and happy vacations on the beach. Of course, not all the time a date turns out this way. But the good first date, the good chemistry, you would agree, opens the palpable possibility for sweet hope.
Back to PR, think about our encounters with our audience – media or consumers. What are we doing holding a press conference where all we talk about is ourselves? Why do we hold an illusion that people actually care about our 40-minute solo speech full of descriptions of you good you are, where your date would have long found an excuse for escape if she were in the same situation? You may argue that the media has a non-romantic reason to care about you, they are paid to listen and write. But what about the public? Will they care, unless you’re handsome, talented, witty, (like Brad Pitt), inspiring (like Steve Job), or that your brand has an intriguing value that they connect to?
So if you have a big brand already, great. You have a lot that people are interested in anyway. But if your brand is modest, talking about yourself doesn’t make it bigger, or more popular. Instead, talk about your audience, listen to them. Offer opinions, insights, inspirations. Give yourself away to a genuine desire to contribute to a better, more beautiful and meaningful universe. Create values and charms by your personal and collective wit. Make them want stalk you, even, instead of stalking them.
And then, hopefully, romance will come.
The next question is, how do you stand out from other dates, in this overly crowded market of single people and, analogically, emerging brands? I would say, dig inside you, deep inside you, to see what’s unique that you can offer. That’s what we call “Big Ideal”, or the “higher calling” of a brand. Expressing how you are indispensible to this world rewards you with instant notice. That’s why Coke says Open Happiness and Apples say Think Different, Nokia says Connecting People and Nike says Just Do It! Wouldn’t you want to have a date with a happy Coke or an iMac that thinks different?
Next, having a suitable personality counts, passionate, witty but also responsible and considerate. And it’s not a catch phrase, but more importantly how you express it with PR strategies and tactics. Of course, we all know in a date it helps to be physically attractive, and with the digital age you have to have an attractive and influential online, social profile too. Have your brand gone through a check of your website, facebook, twitter and other social account?
Any other opinion? What else makes a good date for you?