It’s not quite what you are expecting. I know.
It doesn’t start with “50 tips to…” or “15 trends for…”
I did try. I promised you. Towards the end of December I have been thinking a lot about what happened in the industry in 2014, and what I think will we be facing in 2015. Like every year for the past couple of years I started jotting down the thoughts even a couple of months earlier. But I found that no matter how I tried to stay away from the “expected”, it’s hard not to be biased.
The truth is, we all tend to defend what close to what we do professionally. We feel almost a duty to do that, as we will be sharing the thoughts with our peers, who are, in the same way, pretty much defending the same thing.
It turns into almost like a sales pitch. An advertorial. Or worst, a product placement of some kind.
May be that’s the reason why when I stumbled upon Bono’s A to Z of 2014, his version of the year’s account, that I think it is so refreshing. It does not feel like selling. It’s real. It’s authentic. It’s transparent. It’s slightly flawed. It’s human.
It leads to my thinking that perhaps that’s exactly what we should all be doing in 2015. No matter as an individual or as a brand.
Content is cheap. Meaning is expensive. Don’t make content marketing another form of advertising.
Produce tailored content that does not feel like selling.
We want to be connected with things other than those directly related to our business.
No preconceived answers. Give me a bit of surprise.
We don’t need to hear that you are the greatest. Because “nice is the new cool”.
We have been so obsessed by the new, shiny trend that we fail to realize what consumers are really just looking for a brand they can believe in. If there is no “purpose”, there is no brand.
We want brands to be good. Not necessarily the best. Just good in every sense of the meaning.
If you are a bank, don’t just sell finance products, talk about how you help people to be a better human being. If you are a food producer, stop just reinforcing how good the ingredients are, but tell us why associating with you make a meaningful relationship. If you are a business software brand, stop just promoting the new features, start telling me how you see things the same way as I do.
In 2015, the only way to stand out from the competition is not just thinking out of the box, but go beyond product truth and think what it means for the consumers.