The New Brand Paradigm (lessons learned from controversial Pepsi ad)

As a content creator and a consumer, I have been noticing in the past year or so pattern changes. Given the political, economic, social climate in the United States and in Europe, and an easy access to information, there is a rise in social awareness. Call it educated choices, thought out choices. I follow the saying the more informed you are, the better apt you are at making smart choices.

Consumers are embracing the idea that you not only vote by casting a ballot, you also vote with every buying decision you make. And brands should be paying attention to this.

Welcome to the new brand paradigm:

Authenticity

Long gone the days of not being true, real, in good faith. Consumers will see immediately the disparity and will switch to another brand that resonate better with their values. Simply said: brands shouldn’t pretend they care about certain values, when in actuality it is a scheme to sell more products. Consumers care about brands that care. If you are using social issues (associated with inequality and oppression) to sell your product, maybe it would have worked in the 70’s but those days are long gone.

Relevance

Every brand tries its best to remain relevant in consumer’s mind, at any costs. “ Let me be relevant by capitalizing on relevant social issues.” This, as we have seen is not the way to go. You become relevant by having creative ideas, creating content that matters, by providing a solution, by inspiring and speaking to high ideals.

Engagement

Influencers are definitely a good tool to engage. Sticking an influencer that has X number of followers on a glossy multi-million dollar ad, might be a good idea on paper. In reality, the results won’t always follow. Since the influencer has its own brand story, a collaboration with big name brands could be fruitful when both share the vision and/or the influencer has some sort of involvement in the creative process. And this brings me to my last point: don’t underestimate your consumers. Engage responsibly.

Thanks for reading.

For more ideas check out http://www.madebynatives.com/lab-ideas/