Last weekend, I got the opportunity to hang out with Star Lord and his crew as they took a much-needed vacation in Orlando. Since the Guardians of the Galaxy movie was released, they’ve rarely been able to escape the paparazzi, so I offered the comfort and safety of the Blogging Bastion for a bit of respite. As we discussed their newfound fame, their satisfaction with their cinematic representations, and a possible upcoming movie deal for the Contentinators over appletinis, I gained an intimate connection with one of the most remarkable supergroups the world has seen.
Rocket Raccoon’s story stood out to me in particular–and how could it not, seeing that he’s a talking raccoon who walks on two legs and wields massive weaponry. Rocket sees his image as more of a curse than a blessing, as he has been subjected to mockery and disdain over the years; but no matter what cruelty comes his way, he always sticks to his guns (literally and figuratively), telling the world, “Ain’t no thing like me, but me.” Within the world of content marketing, it seems as though that very catchphrase is being overquoted and underdelivered, time and time again.
We live in a world where the average consumer wants to be enticed from the start to well beyond the completion of a transaction. They want to know that their chosen brands truly care about them; they want to be entertained and informed; they don’t want to be sold to, but they do want to receive significant value from every interaction. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, “nothing is new under the sun.” Other brands have conquered financial planning, crafted fanciful cupcakes, and built the best burritos in town. When all is said and done, it’s all been done before–so what is a brand to do?
When you reach out to your target demographic, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd (assuming there are no robot-raccoon gunslingers on your team). However, if you find your story has been told before, there’s nothing wrong with retelling it–as long as you tell it better. Not sure what I mean? Take a look:
Letting your customer lead the story is an often-touted, not-so-often-accomplished feat that helps give your brand a personal, connected feel. Denny’s Tumblr blog is comprised of fan submissions that reflect the company’s personality. As one poster suggested, Denny’s is no longer just eggs and pancakes, “it is in fact an emotion.”
Speaking to your clientele’s interests and sparking their curiosity is an extremely engaging way to tell your brand’s story. On their Tumblr, General Electric displays videos, photos, and gifs of innovative new creations as well as pieces of GE’s history, connecting the old and the new with a definite focus on progress and technological advancement.
Putting yourself in your customers’ shoes or designating a brand liaison who identifies closely with your client base opens the door to conversation and interaction. Take a look at DKNY’s Instagram; rather than simply posting photos of their new pieces, they’ve chosen to view their clothing through the eyes of a PR girl, sharing the excitement and trendsetting ways of a fashionista with their followers.
You don’t have to go through intensive genetic splicing and mechanical upgrades to make your brand’s presence unique. How do you stand out from the crowd and truly connect with your followers? Also, who do you think should play me in the Contentinators movie? I’m thinking Jean Claude van Damme…Start the discussion with us!