By Sam Keasler | 4 minute read

Sam Keasler is a Creative Director in our Denver Office. He loves all things Memphis basketball and organizing his dad rock collection.

The average person is exposed to over 5,000 ads a day¹. That’s 5,000+ products and services vying for the same attention. All these impressions are competing with your brand’s message and feeding consumer ad blindness. While targeting and relevance are critical to success, you need to do more to draw attention and build awareness for your brand. Authenticity and storytelling are two powerful tools to break through, drive awareness, and ultimately build and motivate a customer base.

Real recognize real

As it goes. Consumers have long been skeptical of advertising—doctors recommend cigarettes, cars make you happy, now add in the noise of 5,000 daily impressions and you can see why people lack trust in brands and choose to tune out. But fear not, consumers are willing to go the distance to ferret out brands that speak authentically and from their purpose for being. A great example of brand authenticity is Patagonia.

 

Outdoor retailer Patagonia knows its purpose and so do their customers. As Patagonia states in their Reason For Being;

At Patagonia, we appreciate that all life on earth is under threat of extinction. We aim to use the resources we have—our business, our investments, our voice and our imaginations—to do something about it.”

From this platform, they craft authentic messaging and reinforce their purpose at every touchpoint. As a result, brand awareness and sales have never been better—with like-minded customers flocking in response to their cause-based marketing. This platform also serves as a great way to win earned media. Patagonia was in the press recently for cracking down on their products being used as the “Wall Street Uniform” and prioritizing partnerships with nonprofits instead.

Differentiators and reasons to believe are important tools, but you must go further to find authenticity. Consumer’s buy whys not whats, so you must define the purpose or belief that explains why the organization exists. Authenticity comes from a brand’s DNA and ladders up from a purpose statement. Define this purpose for the consumer and make it as simple and sticky as possible. This will alleviate consumer suspicion and lead to trust. As Hamilton’s adage goes, stand for something or fall for anything.

Cool story bro. No, really!

Honing your brand’s story is equally important. A story arc offers a familiar and compelling structure that allows consumers to be the hero through your point of view. It’s also packed with electrolytes for easy message absorption.

What makes your brand unique and stand out from the competition? What problem are you solving and who’s causing them? Define those characters and themes and craft the hell out of your story.

Using an antagonist is a persuasive approach whether direct competition or something cause-based like Patagonia. Do your competitors have higher fees or prices? Is there something more altruistic that defines your brand? Narrating these plot points as benefits and focusing on the consumer will draw attention and hook your audience. Remember the consumer is the protagonist, not your brand.

In the end, it’s good if someone disagrees with your story—you can’t be everything to everyone. Polarizing work will garner more attention and engage your base. Patagonia ostracized a large and wealthy market because it aligned with their purpose and they galvanized their core customers into believers. Nike took a stance with a bended knee and the world watched. Some vowed not to buy, others said “about damn time.” People are searching for your brand or product in response to a problem. Why will they align with you over a competitor? Give them a reason to give a damn. Tell your story and keep them peeps peepin’.

Los Angeles

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Denver

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New York City

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New York, NY 10016
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Los Angeles

10000 Washington Blvd, Floor 6
Culver City, CA 90232
424.209.8346

 

Denver

2819 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205
303.442.2542

 

 

New York City

383 5th Avenue, Floor 5
New York, NY 10016
646.350.4971

 

 

Movement Strategy is a social media and digital marketing agency for leading entertainment & sports, lifestyle & ecommerce, and food & beverage brands.

© Movement Strategy 2019

© Movement Strategy 2019