You’re in a crowded room. Desperate for attention. Ok, maybe not desperate, but you want someone to talk to. You can either: a) Shout ‘hey, you!’ and hope someone turns around, or b) walk up to the most promising candidate, drop their name, and strike up a conversation.
Brands are in the very same predicament, 7 billion times over. The Interwebs have connected people across the world, helping even small companies attract global networks of fans and followers. But in their rush to speak to massive pools of potential leads, too many brands have over-standardized and over-simplified their message.
Now, technology advances have turned the dial again. Personalized brand experiences [think premium services like platinum cards] that used to be reserved for a select few are no longer a perk. They’re a must for any marketer who wants to remain relevant. Amazon is nailing it with personalized recommendations, proving that it’s possible to cater to—even predict—consumers’ tastes. And after 10 years of sliding sale figures, Coca-Cola is seeing a sudden upswing, thanks to a custom can redesign. When you can buy a drink labeled with your own name, or a friend’s, Jessicas and Andrews and Emilys the world over create shareable content, engage on social media, and, of course, keep buying.
We think Coke and Amazon are on to something. In fact, we’ve been doing one-to-one marketing since before it was trendy.
Here are a couple of our favorites. A Boston neighborhood branding gig positioned Downtown Crossing as a vibrant community where people come together to meet, live, work, and play. And amid extensive redevelopment, it cloaked unsightly construction work with reminders of real-life intersections, featuring pictures of everyday Downtown Crossing passersby.
A highly personalized recruitment effort for Wilkes University called out Briana Turnbaugh and five other high school applicants by name—on highway billboards, in MTV commercials, and other super-public forums. In the process, it turned lots of heads. Hello, New York Times.
In 2015, we’re challenging you to make your audience the hero of the story. Good news for you is that we’re here to help.