The new way of marketing is based on a growing body of scientific research showing that the context of a community deeply influences how people interpret their experiences. This in turn shapes their willingness to do more than engage in a transaction.
Follow these four tenets so that your brand can RULE:
Focus on the whole person including basic drives to acquire, to bond, to learn and to defend what a person considers important. Kimberly-Clark, makers of pull-up diapers, engaged all these drivers in its toilet training campaign. The company launched a website with instructional videos, featuring a community of parents learning together. Content shared among friends exceeded the project’s target by 400 percent.
Understand: Explicitly associate your brand with fundamental human values. A study of 50,000 brands found those that grew the most explicitly linked to values such as joy, connection with other people, exploration, pride, and societal improvement. Starbucks for example linked perceptions of the chain with ideals of universalism and benevolence by encouraging customers to take action on their values.
Listen: Gain insight to go beyond what people say to better understand their emotional experience with your brand. 3M Company collects thousands of reviews and comments from more than a dozen retail sites, mobile apps and Facebook postings. It uses that data to improve marketing campaigns. One product was selling below expectations until 3M changed its product copy, quoting the language consumers used online.
Engage: Enlist the entire company—not just marketing and advertising—to take part in brand advocacy.With customers demanding authenticity, companies must “walk the talk” by creating cultures where brand values are expressed every day. Embassy Suites Hotels created a multi-pronged initiative to influence employee behavior. For example, new team members receive a booklet introducing them to goals and expectations for a distinctive brand experience.