CREATIVE

WHAT BEING NICE MEANS FOR BRANDS AND BUSINESSES

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Do you think it is better to be powerful or to be liked?
 
Why does this have to be an either/or proposition? Being liked is power, and one of the quickest ways to gain someone’s trust and get them to like you is to be nice, polite, and to play fairly.
 
Why is being nice trending in today’s society? 
 
In the last few years, our culture has shifted dramatically. With the rise of digital technology, everyone and their uncle’s opinions are available at the touch of a button. While this rise in global interconnectedness seems to have created an amplification of people’s spiteful and negative attitudes, this appears to be winding down. People are becoming more aware of how they speak to each other, and how their actions both online and offline can have a negative impact on how other people feel or perceive them.
 
Also, the recession may have had something to do with this as well. After the market crash in 2008, big business had a PR disaster on their hands. People became more distrustful of companies in general, and their expectations for businesses has changed. Now, people, especially younger consumers, put an emphasis on being able to trust that a brand acts ethically and is honest and transparent in their dealings.
 
Is it true that people are becoming kinder, gentler, and more polite? It remains to be seen. But being nice is definitely trending, and people across all business industries and walks of life are starting to realize that positivity and kindness are beginning to reign supreme.

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What does this mean for brands?
 
For brands and businesses to remain relevant, it’s critical that their messaging is aligned with broader society’s values and positive, rising trends. The trending power of being nice should be reflected in the brands that entrepreneurs create and the way they position themselves. This also has many practical implications for what brands can do to improve consumer’s perceptions of their brands. Remember, it’s critical to gaining a customer’s trust that your brand is seen as ethical and honest in their dealings and advertising methods. For instance: 

  • Be mindful of what your company’s representatives say and how they conduct themselves on social media.

  • Be aware of your customer service reputation.

  • Look at your online reviews from third-party sites. Where can you improve?

  • Is your messaging aligned with your values and your target customer’s values?

Hopefully, the power of being nice is here to stay. It’s better for society and the business ecosystem if people can get ahead by playing by the rules, being nice, and being polite to customers, business associates, and competitors alike.
 
More importantly, do you think being nice is here to stay? How do you think the concept of being nice can improve your company’s bottom line, and the ability to attract and retain customers?

TOP 3 WAYS TO MAKE THE FREEMIUM MODEL WORK FOR YOU

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Modern shoppers are bombarded with advertisements. In our highly connected, digital age, there is no end in sight to the range of products, services, and brands that a consumer can purchase from and support. But with so many ads and brands competing for consumer’s limited attention and discretionary income, how can a company find new consumers, and get them hooked on their products or services? Finding qualified leads isn’t enough. You need to find a way to compel those leads to make a purchase. What’s one of the quickest ways to do that? The freemium model, and we’ll cover the top three ways the freemium model can work for your business.

With profit margins getting tighter in many industries, the freemium model does have a few downsides. But for subscription-based service models, going freemium can be an excellent way to build your brand awareness, convert leads to sales, and increase your profits.

1. The freemium model cuts through the noise.

The average consumer sees 5,000 product ads a day. Offering a compelling freemium service for a trial period is a quick and easy way to cut through the noise and the competition online. But to make this work for your business, you need to offer an obvious value to the customer with your freemium versus paid subscription model.  

Spotify does a great job here. They offer a freemium, but users have to listen to commercials for one thing, and they can’t download songs to a multitude of devices with Spotify freemium. Upgrading to the paid option though gives them the ability to skip songs, skip commercials, and download their playlists to any mobile device.

What you need to do is offer the customer an obvious value when they upgrade to make freemium work for you. When the customer sees how valuable your service is with freemium, but how much better it can be with the upgrade, the chances of them converting to a paid customer are much higher.

2. Nurture the freemium leads.

In most cases, it takes consumers a while to decide to make a purchase, and most leads are not ready to buy straight away. That’s why nurturing your freemium leads is crucial to getting this model to work for your business. Think about your sales funnel, and creating lead nurturing email campaigns to expose the leads to your brand and compel them to make a purchase.

3. Hold back on core functions.

You don’t want to give away too much, too soon with the freemium model if you want it to lead to future sales. While the freemium model can work if you’re strategic about it, not every freemium subscriber is going to convert. Your freemium people still have value as potential brand advocates. The trick here is not to give away for free too many of your company’s core functions. Doing so will cause the freemium model to eat into your profit margins, and it won’t work.

The freemium model isn’t dead, and subscription-based companies can make it work for them if they keep these three tips in mind when creating a freemium model as part of their marketing campaigns.

HOW WE'RE HELPING PEPSICO "CLOSE THE CROP GAP"

Every year we find ourselves getting involved with a purpose-driven initiative that warms our hearts. This year we worked with PepsiCo to introduce a campaign to create awareness about issues facing women in Agriculture. This digital-first storytelling initiative called “Closing The Crop Gap” takes you along the crop gap journey to see how we are working to solve it, with an innovative approach.

The Crop Gap is representative of the unequal access women face in agriculture-dependent economies. Women small-scale producers play a vital role in global food production, yet they struggle to secure land titles, have limited access to agricultural extension services, and rarely attain the tools and information they need to improve crop production.

Through PepsiCo’s partnership with CARE they're investing in women small-scale producers to give them access to the resources, support, information, skills andconfidence they need to invest in their farms, families and communities. As a result, women boost production, generate income to send their children to school, feed their families more nutritious meals, expand their business to employ others and build savings to help through tough times.

Through this campaign, we hope to create awareness about The Crop Gap and inspire people to get involved. 

So, please feel free to take a tour through the website we created, "meet" the filmmakers who are capturing these women's stories, and get involved if so inclined.

WHY PSYCHOGRAPHICS MATTER MORE THAN DEMOGRAPHICS

They say that demographics are everything. And while it’s true that knowing the demographics of your audience can significantly influence your marketing plans and their overall success, emotions matter more when it comes to sales and conversions. In today’s world of branding, marketing, and advertising, demographics don’t matter nearly as much as knowing the customer’s emotional mindset -- trust me.
 
The target audience’s physical location, their age, educational level, or other staples of their demographic statistics are less important to marketing success than speaking to the customer’s values, what matters most to them, and how your product or service can meet that emotional need. 
 
Why is psychographics more important in today’s world than demographics?
Throughout history, compiling demographics has been much easier than getting into a customer’s head and understanding what drives them to make a purchase. It’s easy, simple, and straightforward to know where a customer lives, how old they are, or what their family situation looks like that could influence their buying decisions.
 
While demographics are comprised of the dry facts of your audience’s data, psychographics can shed light on what inspires your customers to buy your product or service. In many cases, your audience may have little in common with each other's demographic data points. This is one of the most compelling reasons why marketers need to understand their audience’s psychographics because demographic data is very limited for helping marketers position their brand.
 
Today, it’s essential for marketers to figure out what the customer’s emotional mindset is, or the “why” behind why they buy. In other words, their psychographics.

  • What goes through their minds?

  • What is their buying behavior like?

  • Do they plan on making purchases, or are they more likely to impulse buy?

  • When the customer is searching for a product or service like yours, are they feeling confident, or are they in a state of frenzy or panic?

  • How does that mindset influence how they shop for and buy your product?

These types of questions and their answers are crucial for marketers to know and understand for greater advertising and brand success. Knowing what values your customers focus on, and their emotions and affinities are what marketers need to realize for optimal positioning of their brand.
 
How can you find out what your audience’s psychographics are?
There are a couple of things marketers can do to understand their customers’ psychographics.

  1. Interview your existing loyal customers: You can do this either one-on-one with a repeat client, or send out a survey or questionnaire to your mailing list. Ask your customers what their goals are, what motivates them, and what their shopping habits are to get a better idea of their psychographics.

  2. Delve into your website analytics: If you prefer a less hands-on approach, combing through your website analytics can give you insight into what previous offers you’ve made that motivated people to buy, click, or share.

With a survey or interview, sometimes the client doesn’t truly know what motivates them. But looking over your website analytics can show you exactly what actions your customers take. Your customers may say they aren't bargain shoppers, but if your discount codes have really driven sales in the past, then actions speak louder than words.
 
Hitting the right emotional and cultural notes with your audience will ensure that the tone of your content aligns with their values and motivations. While it’s still important to have a firm grasp of your audience demographics, psychographics will enable you to differentiate your brand. Speaking to your customer’s emotions will make your brand more memorable, and inspire greater customer loyalty.

Finito.