The virus changed the way we consumed information on the internet. According to The New York Times, “In the past few years, users of these services were moving to their smartphones, creating an industry-wide focus on mobile.” This caused the virality of social media apps and the increase in trends at every other hour of the day.
For brands, this meant a significant shift from just traditional advertising to mobile advertising. The quest to meet their target demographic in their safe space (mobile phones) meant developing a tone of voice that is familiar and engages with them.
In doing this, a lot of brands lost sight of their brand stories, and how this need to fit in could cost them the respect of their target market. The following case studies show how a brand story can be lost in the moment’s trend.
What Does Your Newsletter Say About You?
The Tech Cabal and Zikoko brand have mastered the art of a good newsletter, and regardless of what seems to be catchy at the moment, they have created an insider language between them and their subscribers. Yet, not all brands realise the mastering of this art. Sterling Bank is one of those brands. The need to conform to the language of the moment has pushed the bank to create content that tries too hard to be relatable when what it needs to do is stand out as the one-customer bank. Reinforcing the brand archetype in all communication from the bank should adopt a house style and tone that connects through interest points, and engages with its target demographic regardless of the trend of the moment.
Impressions Differ From Reality
The Tony Elumelu Foundation has positioned itself as a space to mentor, fund, and network for budding entrepreneurs. Yet, its move with an exclusive live interview with Nengi Hampson of Big Brother was focused on the numbers the personalities this franchise attracts, as opposed to the essence of its brand.
When working with the influencer marketing strategy, it is important to focus on shared values. Questions like, why is this influencer affiliation good for the brand? Do they have qualities that align with the brand? Should be top of mind when creating these affiliations. Answering these questions for the Tony Elumelu Foundation shows that they had the right intention but the wrong affiliation.
Catchy Doesn’t Mean Relatable
Howard Gossage said, “Nobody reads advertising. People read what interests them, and sometimes it is an ad.” When STANBIC IBTC Pension released their product Switch Geng, it might have been an excellent strategy to use Mayorkun’s track “Geng” to interest its target audience. Yet, was the best approach to connect with their audience? In the history of catchy jingles, brands like Airtel (444) and GTBank (737) have created a niche by creating original tracks that caught and retained the attention of their target audience. A better way to achieve this for STANBIC IBTC would have been to maintain core elements from the musician who pioneered the Geng movement and created an original track, and visual story to drive the point home.