Funneling money into the latest trends without purpose is a waste, yet a surprising number of brands still operate without a North Star to guide them.
Your marketing tactics are only as good as the strategies behind them, and the only way you’ll succeed is by focusing on your core strengths. Pick and choose the right tools, platforms, and events for the right job, and you’ll gain much more than by simply following the herd.
There’s Danger in Being a Follower
Focusing on your core strengths and building from there isn’t as exciting as latching onto the latest trends and tools. But it’s the best way to become indispensable to your most valuable customers. Brands need to define themselves and stick to their convictions.
That’s not accomplished with an exhaustive list of trends and tools. It’s achieved through market research to understand how current and prospective customers view your brand. Consumer trends, after all, constantly change. A good example of this is Snapchat. In 2017, brands and consumers were flocking to the social platform, but it had a day of reckoning in 2018. After rolling out a user experience redesign that confused pretty much everyone, Kylie Jenner, once one of the platform’s most influential users, tweeted her frustrations. As a result, Snapchat’s stock lost $1.3 billion. Additionally, the redesign removed branded content from users’ main feeds—a move that sent a clear message to brands: You’re going to have to pay to play. Where brand content was once integrated with organic content from users’ good friends, Snapchat has now erected a barrier between brands and their target audiences.
Chasing vanity metrics on these social platforms won’t yield the same results as it used to. Meanwhile, the pushback against “fake news” is affecting consumer trust of sponsored posts across the board. All this is to say: Brands have less of an incentive to be on the once-trendy platform. Perhaps that’s why Maybelline took to Twitter to ask its followers whether the platform is even relevant to them anymore. And brands that invested too much stock in this platform may find themselves in a tricky spot.
Building a Brand That Lasts
Trends come and go, but meaningful customer relationships stand the test of time. If you understand who you are and what your brand stands for, you can reach your customers through thick and thin. Here’s three tips: