Put consumer interests first for an emotional response

I would like to pick up on a couple of points, having just read Emotional Response by Mark Wickens (DW 15 December 2000).

I was interested to read that Wickens believes that ‘an emotionally driven world demands that the brand comes first’. Certainly a brand must have a strong sense of identity.

But you must put consumers first and the brand second to achieve thought-provoking, relevant and useful brand communications.

Wickens rightly points out that it is essential to know what makes people tick before you can communicate with them effectively. But brands should not only look for insights about people in the obvious places, but in unexpected places, too. This means that our industry now needs to be a lot more observant, creative and inventive if we are to succeed in helping brands be more relevant.

I picked up on the point about on-line brands needing to tackle the issue of creating emotional experiences in a virtual world. There is a lot to be said for making sure a virtual brand can express itself in the real world. We recently launched an on-line site specialising in financial commentary. Knowing that people are less likely to trust on-line content, we created brand communications that placed them firmly in ‘everyday’ life. The brand’s presence in the real world encouraged people to visit them in their virtual world, and the campaign out-reached it’s original targets.

If brands are strong enough to create tangible experiences that demonstrate their benefits, that goes part way to achieving success. But if they don’t recognise today’s communication issues they will inevitably die.

Alexandra Goldsmith

Clients services director



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