Find me at ericungs.com
Marketing and Social Media Communicaions. Corporate and Personal Branding.
Understand the consumer beyond the consumer and product touchpoint.
The inspiring Steve Jobs was frequently quoted saying “it’s not the consumers job to know what they want”.
Thus is why we as marketers must understand the full DNA makeup of our consumers and not solely concentrate on the DNA string – the direct need – that’s connected to our product or service.
We need to not fully listen to and rely upon what consumers are saying they want in products in terms of features, functionality, etc – this blocks innovation which ultimately creates a very messy product as we try to be everything to everybody.
Instead we need to listen to how our consumers live beyond the link between our product and service.
Understand the full DNA makeup so we can provide them, not with an enhanced version of what they already have and with what they think they want, but with something they want before they even know they want it.
Something created for their lifestyle that serves – and meets – both the brand’s and consumer’s higher purpose.
To what extent do you think we need to listen to our consumers – and allow them to influence decisions – when building and creating our products?
I’ve just begun reading “Uprising” by Scott Goodson which details brand building strategies by creating cultural movements. Breaking down the DNA of their target consumers that uncover their passions and beliefs to form an idea—to spark a cultural movement—that those consumers what to be apart of and spread.
This led me to the blog, uprisingmovements.com, which just recently published a post titled “Brands under pressure: The brand lives in the Employees Voice” that was beautifully written.
Here’s a snippet to sum it up (though I encourage you to read the post at it’s entirety):
While some brands depend solely on Madison Avenue to dictate the rules of engagement, the smartest brands have found a new voice to humanize their image—their employees. Though these employees may appear softly spoken, there is little question whether their voices are being heard. Savvy audiences respond remarkably well to these messages, as a company’s employees represent the most authentic expression of a company’s brand. For many brands, such an approach marks a major shift in mindset.
Before a company can communicate well externally, it needs to communicate well internally. Companies that focus on honing their culture and employees via communication and education can create brands with a purpose. Brands need to start trusting the voices of their valued employees. In essence, brands need to become social.
Employees are the company’s, and brands, greatest asset. Culture and purpose of the brand and organization is not derived by what agencies say it is or how they say it should be – it’s driven by the employees voice. It’s the conversations around the water cooler and in the break rooms, it’s the conversations at the little league games about their work and company that defines both the culture and true purpose of the brand.
Any culturally driven or brand initiative must start with an organizations greatest asset – the employee. Allow the employees to be the marketing department. Leverage the reach of the employees voice. Allow them to be your brand ambassador. This unlocks the front door and allows the consumer to truly understand and feel the brand—because the voices and words that are spoken from those in the trenches are the truth. It’s pure authenticity and completely humanizes the brand experience. This equates to deeper relationships. The company cannot rely on the products and/or services to keep customers—they’ve become a dime a dozen—it relies on the relationships and loyalty to the brand that derives from shared interest, ideas, vision and purpose.
The concept remains difficult for many brands, but companies are made up of people. Real people. Brands need to start tapping into this golden opportunity to elevate their brand relevance in a world where a person or business’s reputation can be destroyed in a mouse click. There’s liquid gold in the voices of employees, but few brands realize this unharnessed potential.