“晚上在家么?我可能顺道拜访一下”——社会化媒体之上的品牌人性化

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真诚感谢Energize策略总监Joost van Liemt的投稿!

2013年即将接近尾声,这意味着又到了大家作回顾和展望的时刻了。作为一家创意互动营销公司,每年这个时候我们都会关注业界对过去一年趋势的分析及对未来一年趋势的预测。有时这些预测会相互矛盾,所以我准备聊一聊这些相互矛盾的观点。让我们从最有趣的一对开始:

作者: Joost van Liemt
Energize策略总监

品牌应该利用社会媒体大量制作及广泛传播品牌内容   vs.  不管品牌有什么媒体活动都是不可被信任的

可以想象地出,与前几年相比,随着线上交流与社会媒体越来越相似,品牌宣传将变得越来越困难。超负载的商业信息将使一大批微博用户转向微信;优酷也将因前置广告太长而丢失很多用户;绝大多数的用户开始意识到豆瓣上有很大一部分内容实质上都是付费广告;这一切将让我们无所适从,唯有另辟蹊径。

因为另辟蹊径正是我们所擅长的。一旦繁多的广告使用户放弃某一媒体平台(比如:微博),我们便迫不及待地开始搜索相似的新平台(比如:微信)。显然,我们不懂得吸取教训,只是换汤不换药地把相同的内容挪了个地方。到最后遍地都是品牌精心打造的宣传平台,仿佛我们又回到了70年代:为了促进销量我们创造了电视广告,但是最后竞争取代了最初的目的。

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对于消费者,这可不是一种良性的发展。他们想知道的只是简单的信息——最佳的消费场所在哪里?哪里的价格最便宜?哪里的服务最好?当然,广告效应仍存在着一些作用。但是如果一些媒体购买公司仍然觉得消费者还生活在广告商制作出来的梦境中的话,那他们就大错特错了。

但是如果不使用媒体购买,怎么样才能把广告信息传递出去呢?——一切都应始于信任。消费者并不是“消”“费”“者”这三个字而已,他们是实实在在的人,是每天与我们擦肩而过而富有生气的人。“消费者”这个名词是一个很笼统的概念,这只会造成轻视感,形成距离感。这可不是我们所希望看到的。要拉近与大众的距离,首先要改变对他们的看法,要时刻记得每个消费者都是性格迥异的个体。其次,要将品牌打造的更为人性化、个性化,使之能与普通百姓对话。说到人性化,这可不仅仅是简单地设计制作一些附带情感的广告这些表面的东西,而是要让品牌建立起自己的“性格特征”。

尽管有些广告设计精美,看似人性化,也确实吸引了我的注意力,但终究还是没有打动我。它们与普通大众的距离依旧遥远。要想打动别人,品牌必须得逃离象牙塔,以平易近人方式,真诚地与大众交流。可以是对话,也可以是独白;可以给予,也可以获取;可以表达有关爱的主题,也可以诉说不满。人性化(Being human)就好比你手捧玫瑰毫无征兆的出现所带给人们的感动,当然也会因此被感激。倒不是因为花本身,而是因为其中传达出你对彼此关系的珍重,因为你不求回报的想要给他人以惊喜。而这些,都可以被定义为真诚待人的表现。

看到这份真诚,人们可能会再次相信品牌所说的话,欢迎品牌再次融入他们的生活。然而这份信任却十分脆弱。我们不能急于求成,必须小心翼翼、按部就班地根据人们的需求发布品牌信息,而不是出于自己的需求。真正有价值的内容是必须按需求来定的。为了做到这一点,我们应该停止猜测潜在消费者的消费习惯,而应该扪心自问,自己平时都看些什么,听些什么,读些什么。把自己放到消费者的立场上,才能真正感受到消费大众的真实需求。不要再问一些冷冰冰的、以销售为目的的问题,看看手机里你与好友互发的短信 – ”今晚在家么?我可能顺道拜访,一起喝杯咖啡聊聊天吧!”是不是亲切很多?

如果感兴趣,请发邮件到joost@energize.nl

原文如下:

Where Are You Tonight? I Might Drop In

It’s the end of the year. So that means a lot of looking back. Or a lot of looking forward which is also a hobby of a lot of people. We’re looking at trends gone by and trends to come. Where one prediction is contradicted by an other which itself is diametrically different from the fourth – and so on. And all this in just one article. The most interesting contradiction for as far as I’m concerned is this:
Brand should produce and seed branded content vs. nothing a brand does on social media is trusted.

Assuming that online communication will even be more synonymous to social media then in earlier years it becomes very hard for a brand to present itself in some way or another. Because if the overload of commercial posts on Weibo make the masses switch to Wechat, if people turn away from Youku because of its ever longer pre-roll ads, and most of the user generated content on Douban is paid-for, then we can’t do anything else but finding a way to work around all this.

Because we are good at work-arounds. From the moment people seem to dislike and leave a specific channel because of the immense amount of commercial advertising (read: Weibo) we can hardly wait to find a new channel (read: Wechat) for our – as we see it – sympathetic message. With what of course we trip over the same stone as we don’t learn from the consequences of our earlier behavior. In the end we all will create and publish our own branded channel fully responsive designed. It kind of feels like advertising in the 1960’s: to sell soap we create ourselves a nice television series that every now and then is interrupted by our own commercial…

Not much of a progression, so to speak. And it is understandable from the prospective buyers’ point of view. Yes, he or she wants to know where the best place to be is and where he or she can find the lowest prices, and the best service. Surely, the prospective buyer want to believe in a dream, in the story told by the advertiser. But not all the time. Media buying agencies still like to believe that people love to watch and listen to advertising. Believe me: they are so wrong.

But how do you get your message across? It all starts with trust. Simply gaining trust of people. That starts with treating people as people. Grown ups. And not as some alien named ‘consumer’. We should no longer be allowed to use the C-word. It is belittling and creates a distance. Which is not what we try to achieve, is it? People want to be treated for what they are: people. And to treat people as people, you need to be human. Brands must become human. For only then you have a voice, is it possible to have a conversation. Becoming human is not creating, producing or broadcasting emotionally loaded commercial. That is too easy: a commercial like that just shows the human side of the brand, it doesn’t make that the brand actually acts human.

Despite all nice and well-produced commercials, they do not make a brand human. The brand hides behind a emotional façade and does approach me. It never comes close. It will have to descend from it’s ivory tower and get in touch with people. With its own and sincere voice. The voice you use to speak to people in a normal way. Sometimes it is a dialogue, sometimes a monologue. With this human voice you can declare love and have a fight. With it you can give and take. Being human allows you to come by with flowers, unannounced. Like in real life it will be appreciated. Not just because of the flowers but because it shows that you take the relationship seriously. And because you surprise people – without asking something back. It is all about sincerity.

With this voice and the right behavior brands will be trusted by people again. And trust makes people open up and grant you access to their lives. This trust is fragile, we will have to be very careful with what to do or not to do, but it is there. Step by little step we can show our content. Easy, no hurry. We cannot push too hard and we need to make sure we only bring content when people want it, not when we want it. To do this right we shouldn’t ask ourselves what people watch, listen or read. But we need to ask ourselves and them where they are. Valuable content fits where you need it, not about how you consume it. It should be like real questions which you would pose to your friend: “Where are you tonight? I might drop by for a cup of coffee and a talk. Looking forward to it!”

Joost van Liemt
Strategy director Energize
Humanizing brands

Intrigued? Email joost@energize.nl


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