No Smoke and Mirrors: Authentically Connecting

One casual morning, as we sat around these bright oak tables, the team at Fidelis began an invigorating conversation about generational cohorts. Diving into that kind of topic can get dicey, but we like dicey. Dicey brings fresh perspectives. It’s easy for one generation to ridicule the other, but what about really exploring each other’s “culture”? That’s exactly what we did. What was a fun conversation, turned into some intense marketing research. It led us into a full investigation and here are some things we learned.

First and foremost, the people want the truth. This might be why influencers are winning the ad game right now. In an article by Jake McKenzie, he reveals “A recent report shows 24% of Gen Z women and 16% of men are guided by influencers when it comes to purchasing decisions.” People want advice from people they can trust, and who is more trustworthy than Beatrice in sweatpants with 3 kids skipping around the house (to the right target audience, that is)? It’s easier for us to trust those we relate to or those who are authentic. “How do I portray myself as authentic or trustworthy?” you ask. Well, you might just need to be yourself. This is where the no gimmicks or illusions come in. In a world full of broken promises, people crave honesty now more than ever. The first step you can take is to tell your story. As McKenzie stated, “Storytelling is an opportunity to be transparent, personable, and give your brand a human face.” Revealing that little bit of spunk in your brand can showcase the personality that your audience is looking for.

Now you’ve got a heart behind your brand, what’s your next step? We know that consumers appreciate brands they resonate with, but how do you reach that point of connection? When rummaging through all the insights, we discovered nostalgia can do a lot for a marketing strategy. Whether it’s reviving classic designs, tapping into retro themes, or sprinkling in some funky tunes from the good ole days, there’s a palpable craving for a connection to the past. Take it a step further by creating a bridge between the past and the present, and you have a strategy that strikes a chord with a wide range of consumers. There’s no better way to grasp your target audience than to trigger their emotions. McKenzie emphasized,  “Value-based storytelling that aligns with their individual lifestyles, passions, and beliefs shows you truly understand them.”

That morning’s discussion on generational cohorts transformed into a pivotal exploration of consumer behavior and preferences. Embracing the insights gained, it is imperative to adapt your marketing approach to align with the values and preferences of your target audience. Understanding different cohorts isn’t just a conversation; it’s the key to staying relevant and thriving in the ever-evolving landscape of consumer dynamics. The common piece that ties all of this together is that everyone wants someone they can trust. Don’t be the brand that holds back.

As Polonius wisely said in Hamlet, “This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

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