Think about how many brands you engage with on a daily basis — from the moment you open your eyes till the minute you hit the bed. Hundreds, right? Maybe even thousands. The real question is though, how many do you recall? Probably 3-4. Let’s face it, the world today is nothing but a crowded marketplace, with brands jostling to make a mark. The result being that we are bombarded with communication, making it essential for brands to cut through the clutter and stand out.
The way to do this sounds fairly simple on paper, but it’s harder than it looks. It involves understanding your target audience (TG) at a level that goes beyond just age, sex, location, and interests. Instead, it involves — and pardon the dramatics — looking into their soul. Consumers respond well to communication that seems tailored to their unique experiences, and as marketers, it’s our job to make them feel that way. So, let’s break it down:
These are the four parts of the human brain that you can tap into, and if you manage to leverage even two, consider the job done, and the impact made.
The first, analytical.
The analytical part of the brain is all about statistics, data, and organisation. And if you’ve got an audience that responds well to structure, then you can lure them with facts. For example, a popular Delhi-based NGO used statistical data in their communication to raise awareness about child rights in India. Their website in particular, prominently displays facts and figures that clearly express the difference they’ve made with their noble work — in a way that words would not have. This goes down well with the analytical brain, that is geared towards numbers over words, practicality over emotion.
The second, expressive.
The expressive side of our brain looks for stories and sentiment. Brands are increasingly looking to appeal to this side of their TG, and one such brand that consistently aces this approach is an international marketplace for online homestays. Using a combination of compelling visuals and interesting stories, the brand creates content around the people involved — both property owners (hosts) and travelers. Their website and social media handles give visitors a glimpse into how people live across the world and their unique travel pursuits; an approach that works perfectly for people who are drawn to personal narratives.
The third, curious.
The curious side of the brain asks ‘why’ and wants to delve deeper. Got a product that’s out of the ordinary? Then that’s half the work done. Take the fidget spinner for example. Did you know it’s been around since the 1990s, as a toy to help people with ADHD? And now, it’s hugely popular without any aggressive marketing — why? Because word-of-mouth helped pique curiosity. People are talking it about it at parties, in the office, and the gym, thereby creating curiosity among others who then look up the product.
The fourth, sensual.
Brands can leverage any (or all) of the five senses to improve their customer retention. Most beauty and F&B brands take this approach. For instance, a UK-based cosmetics company ensures all its stores have a particular scent — some say it’s a combination of peanut butter and banana milkshakes. Once you enter the store, taken in by the delicious smell, your eyes are treated to vibrant bars of soap and shampoo, creating a one-of-a-kind sensory experience.
Now you have the recipe to marketing success — but remember these aren’t hard and fast rules. People are complex creatures, so even a combination of approaches might be the way to go for your brand. After all, there’s no one way to success!