Most savvy business owners find themselves, at some point in their company’s life span, worrying whether their brand identity is connecting with target customers. And if those customers include people under the age of 30, the worry isn’t just about their marketing message—it’s about speaking what seems like a whole other language.
The good news is: They can now relax. Marketing studies have (yet again) revealed that consumers of all ages respond better to messaging that is authentic to the brand and focuses on what’s important—how will your product or service make my life better?—versus what’s cool or trendy.
A recent Digiday article predicted that major brands that had forayed into the lingo of millennials, particularly through their social media channels, in 2015 would correct course for 2016 and go back to focusing on their unique selling propositions. Studies found that companies had very limited success with incorporating language or cultural trends into consumer marketing.
According to social media analytics firm Brandwatch, more than 168 brands, including McDonald’s, Olive Garden, and Sprint, contributed to more than 660 mentions of the trendy youth terms “bae” and “on fleek” between January and November of last year.
As Digiday wisely observed, “When a thing becomes cool enough for you to have heard of it, Olive Garden, it’s probably lost its cool cachet. And when everyone’s doing it, it completely loses any semblance of authenticity.”
When it comes to marketing with your brand identity, remember these three things.
- Know your audience. This includes understanding the communication style that will best resonate with them.
- Don’t get in the conversation purely to get in the conversation. Remember that your business is on social media for the pure purpose of providing content that promotes your product or service or helps consumers better appreciate your product or service.
- Just be yourself. Mom had it right: Be true to your brand’s core identity. Put your interactions with your customers to good use by figuring out ways you can make their lives better, easier, tastier, smarter. Now that’s really cool.