In the context of my book, Brand Rituals™: How Successful Brands Bond with Customers for Life, I talk about how we’re living in a time-starved world. Consumers don’t want long messages anymore. They are very happy with “sound-bites” that help them navigate their choices. This makes it really difficult for marketers to communicate with their audiences, especially as each individual needs their own personal and relevant sound-bite.
This is what you, as a marketer, need do to have your message cut through the clutter and get through to your customers:
- Use the “word of mouth” principle. It has worked since the creation of brands in Mesopotamia and works very well in the social agoras that we have created today. This is because someone else in the digital ecosystem has already assembled the sound-bite train which allows customers to be confident that they know what they need to do. Most of them will borrow an established point-of-view as being much more time-efficient than creating a new one from scratch. You need to find these creators (influencers in marketingese) and make them your advocates.
- Use time compressors. Technology, as we all know, has been the biggest enabler of this evolution. Social interactions (Twitter has become the classic model for the sound-bite economy); content portals run by users of a product or service, or sometimes its most vocal critics (like Justin Guitars for musicians); search engines and apps to help optimize and serve discrete needs.
- Validate your customer’s personal experience. Cognition works. People who make a judgment that’s based on sound bites and find that it works out gain confidence in their ability to repeat the success. And they tend to tell their friends. Use this knowledge to further their influence and your brand’s potential aggressively. This is why customer reviews and feedback have become key drivers in helping brands evolve and stay relevant.
In this very stress-filled and time-starved environment, the best way to make your product or service a Brand Ritual, is to give your customers a gift of time! Do this, and you will have a brand that will be insulated from its competitors and stand the test of time.