The importance of connective marketing

Today more than ever before people want to feel like they belong, like they are part of something.

Brands have become a huge part of people’s personal identities, and consumers are leaning more towards aligning with brands that they have an emotional connection to. This starts with listening to what issues your customers are facing…

What current events are affecting them? 

Where do they stand on global issues?

Advancements in social media have completely changed the game when it comes to monitoring your audience, brands have constant real time data detailing exactly what their audience are saying; it is so important to channel and act on this. Creating emotional, meaningful connections with your target audience turns your customer base into a community!

Companies have to adapt and run campaigns that are not only emotive, but emotionally relevant to the correct audience. You cannot fake it. Today’s consumers can see right through fake authenticity, think of the Kendall Jenner and Pepsi debacle; the company inserted themselves in the correct conversation for their consumers, but massively misjudged the tone of their audience’s discussion. What seems like a small error in judgement massively snowballed into a huge problem that made customers turn round and rethink Pepsi company values.

The conversation around brands and companies is changing, yes consumers still make purchase decisions based on the classic considerations i.e., what does it cost and how convenient is it? But the pool of influences is expanding to include not only head but heart as well.

Here are some of our favourite brands working hard to connect with their consumers on an emotional level…

Patagonia Sustainability

Global outdoors outfitters, Patagonia have built their entire brand on the emotive connection from consumers to sustainability and the environment. Their community is founded on their corporate philosophy “100% For the Planet” allowing consumers to hold them accountable for the parts of their business that maybe don’t live up to this fully. Patagonia’s transparency grants customers the opportunity to connect with them on a more personal, emotional level as they feel they know and can trust the brand.

The climate crisis is rapidly evolving and becoming an increasingly more high-profile issue on company agendas. As people become more concerned with the future of the planet, this naturally becomes more and more emotional: what is the planet going to look like for my children? What am I leaving behind? What can I do to help? Patagonia have already been in this space, fostering their association with sustainability since they began trading in the 70s. We would go as far to say that some of Patagonia’s customer base are there because of their involvement with sustainable fashion practices and dedication to environmental improvement!

Maltesers #TheMassiveOvershare

Mars owned brand Maltesers, launched a new campaign focussed on maternal mental health exploring both there overwhelming highs and devastating lows faced by mothers. #TheMassiveOvershare encouraged mothers all over the UK to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences of motherhood without any filters or sugar coating. The quotes were then projected onto buildings across the country to showcase and highlight that it is normal to struggle with motherhood.

Maltesers commissioned a study which found that one in six mums often feels overwhelmed with 2020 and 2021 presenting a whole new set of challenges for mothers due to COVID. The campaign launch coincided with International Women’s Day which is closely followed by Mother’s Day in the calendar, so this campaign could not have been more appropriately timed.

What makes Maltesers really stand out from the crowd is their longstanding history and commitment to discussing and destigmatising mental health; #TheMassiveOvershare is just one of their many campaigns released highlighting mental health and encouraging people to share their experiences. Maltesers have also donated millions of pounds over the years to mental health charities and initiatives proving to consumers this is something they genuinely care about and not just an empty narrative. The social media comments on this campaign alone prove how well Maltesers have judged and connected with their audience on an emotional level

“Such an incredible campaign! So close to my heart.”

“Thank you so much for sharing this and normalising it! No one said these things when my daughter was born, and I beat myself up over it”

“Love love love this!”

Tesco: Pop to Your Local If You Can

We know everyone is sick of hearing about it but, the COVID-19 pandemic provided brands with a unique opportunity to connect with consumers in an entirely different way. Life as we know it has changed; whether people want to accept it or not. Every sector, industry and business was hit by rules, regulations and restrictions but nowhere felt it more than hospitality. For what felt like forever, pubs, bars and restaurants were losing income and struggling, when they could, to stay open. Supermarket giant, Tesco, tuned into their audience and the conversation around the struggling hospitality sector and decided to launch a campaign. On April 12th, 2021, establishments were finally allowed to fully reopen, and Tesco ran an ad campaign encouraging people to forget about buying their beer at the store and ‘Pop to your if you can’; the campaign ran on Tesco’s social media channels but also as a full-page advert in The Times.

Tesco sacrificed potential profits to promote the message of doing the right thing by supporting small, local and hard-hit businesses showing they care about the community and not just their own back pockets.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The current situation in Ukraine has dominated global news for months so it is no surprise brands have been forced to take a stand. In terms of international affairs, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been an era defining global event the likes of which have never been seen before by this generation. Across the globe, politicians have condemned President Putin and his Russian government officials’ actions by introducing financial and political sanctions; companies have supported this by a combination of ceasing trading in Russia and/or pulling funding from Russian businesses. Titans of almost every industry have emotionally connected with consumers through solidarity with the Ukrainian people; Pepsi have suspended production and sales of their products in Russia, Estee Lauder have closed stores and ceased online shopping, all of the Big Four accounting groups – DeloitteKPMGEY and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – have said they will no longer have a member firm in Russia, BP have cut ties and pulled funding from Russian energy giant Rosneft.

The images emerging from Ukraine have been nothing short of disturbing, resonating with consumers not only in Ukraine but worldwide, therefore these actions of corporations have encouraged emotional connections with consumers on a global scale.

Final thoughts…

It is clear to see the impact and benefit connecting with consumers on an emotional level can have on a company. More importantly it is about building your community based on issues that are important and relevant to the brand and its customers – you cannot fake authenticity.

If you would like to improve how you connect with your consumers, we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch today.