An essential part of marketing your business is having your brand values at the core. If your brand was a person how would they speak, act and look? Humanising our marketing efforts leads us towards marketing our values and morals. The people that then interact with us online become our audience/customers.
Marketing the culture of your brand can often mean many things. It isn’t limited to just your office culture, it goes beyond the company and the culture of the world that we live in. It could refer to what’s trending on a particular day. Whatever cultural perspectives you take, note that like most things, culture is fluid and can change over time.
There can sometimes be a disconnect between your markting efforts and culture which can be a real disadvantage. A factor that contributes to the disconnect or the chances of it going are wrong, is that as marketers we may be a bit hesitant when it comes to posting what’s cultutally appropriate. What we deem to be funny or exciting may not equate to what our audeience finds funny or exciting. Additionally, people have different values and morals, and/or come from different backgrounds.
Studies have shown that culture influences purchasing decisions. Let’s take fashion into consideration, if you’re a western fashion company and you want to appeal to customers in the east, you will not only have to consider different styles of clothing but you’ll have to market to this demographic differently than you may have done previously.
The same applies when it comes to food. When Mcdonalds ventured out to India, their menu predominantly (as we all know) featured meat options. India being a diverse country and having a lot of different groups of people who don’t consume meat or specific types of meat, meant that in order to be a succes, Mcdonalds had to localise the menu. Hence it was out with the ‘Big Mac’, and in with the ‘Maharaja Mac’.
So our challenge is to how to create and adjust our content.
Previously, some brands have got it wrong. Does anybody remember ZARA’s ‘love your curves’ campaign? The models used for the campaign didn’t exactly match the campaign title for many members of the public. This lead to negative reactions where topics as such as body image and the negative effects that advertising has on young women were being discussed on social media.
So you’re probably wondering how to avoid this kind of storm from occuring, and the simple answer is to:
- not take any shortcuts when it comes to doing your research. Don’t just rely on one source of information. You’ll soon be able to build a picture of what to avoid and what topics to open up. If you find a gap across content of topics that haven’t been discussed ask yourself why, and if you do opt to fill that gap, how to do so postivley.
- Don’t let your own bias get in the way. Like I mentioned earlier, we all have different morals and values so ensure that you find out what the general consensus is first.
- Don’t forget about people that aren’t your target audience, why? The answer to this is that while ultimately you are creating and tailoring content to your targeted audience, it won’t stop people who may find your content not being their cup of tea to notice it and react. There’s no way to make sure this will never happen but being careful in regards to how you word things, or taking into account an alternative opinion are ways in which you can decrease the likeliness of negative engagement.
- Network, talk to people. People that come from different backgrounds and countries will be able to open you mind and trigger you to consider things from a perspective that you haven’t previously done so before.