About a week ago I downloaded the NY Times app for my Droid. With my phone being just a little more than a month old, I figured it was about time that I get all my news apps downloaded and organized. While scanning through articles from this digital version of the Times, I noticed advertisements at the bottom portion of the screen. This particular ad was for Starbucks. I don’t remember what it was advertising but I do know that it was Starbucks. And really, isn’t that all that matters. To Starbucks, it doesn’t really matter what you buy as long as you buy.
Throughout the rest of that day, I found my mind wandering back to that one Starbucks advertisement on that one article of which I now cannot remember the content. What stuck with me was not the paragraphs of text (there are countless news articles featuring essentially the same thing anymore). It wasn’t the product. (Whether it was for Frappuccinos or Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I haven’t a clue) What stuck was the brand and the way that the information was presented.
I already have brand loyalty for Starbucks so sure, it is much easier to increase interest where there is already loyalty than to pull in new consumers and brand advocates with no previous brand knowledge. But it’s probably a safe bet to say that many of those reading the NY Times on a smart phone already frequent Starbucks on a regular basis. I’d bet that the marketing folks at Starbucks weren’t going for the new customer at all. My personal brand loyalty coupled with my interest in this new marketing technique sealed the deal. It was because this advertising technique was new to me that it stuck so solidly in my mind. Had it been just another popup ad on the computer screen or a page in the newspaper, I wouldn’t have reason to write this observation. I’d have forgotten about the advertisement two minutes after scanning over it to get to the next bit of information.
As marketers (and PR people), we must be the first to harness the power of these new and innovative ways to reach our target audiences. We are the innovators and the thought shapers. It’s not enough to just repeat the rest, to do what’s familiar, the thing that has been done countless times before. Novel ideas capture interest. It’s going to take a lot for my mind to hold on to that television commercial unless there’s something within it that stands out among the rest. I won’t remember your full page spread in the magazine unless it presents a new experience that I can connect with personally. It’s not enough anymore for the consumer to be interested in the product but they must also be compelled by the technique.
Let’s look back on my Starbucks activity since seeing that ad. I have been to Starbucks at least twice, drank multiple Starbucks VIAs, and have purchased the book Onward by Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO. Oh and my mind has also been focused on writing a blog post about… STARBUCKS. I’d say that they won.
Based on my experience, I leave you with these three marketing tips.
1. Utilize new techniques to increase the loyalty of already loyal customers.
2. Be innovative. Market in a way that nobody has ever marketed before.
3. Let your brand matter most. Don’t let product details ruin the essence of your brand presence.