Over the past six months or so, I’ve had more than a few studies where I’ve heard loud and clear something that I haven’t heard articulated quite this strongly before: “Don’t tell me about me. Tell me about you and why you might be good for me, and I’ll decide what I think about you.”
There are two aspects to this:
- The use of superlatives is becoming (more of) a turn-off in concept statements and advertising. I am seeing this more with younger participants, but I hear it from time-to-time from the “older” folks as well. “Best” or “better than” is not the tone they want to hear; using or including the “best of something” (e.g., best quality ingredients) – if the key benefits support the claim – is more acceptable.
- Greater value is being placed on the parts (individual) vs. the whole. I haven’t heard in quite some time someone say “that’s a great CD.” They like a particular song. They download it, put it on their iPod or other device, and customize their listening experience. That focus on being able to customize experiences is helping to drive how they react to new products and ideas.
For example, I can’t image Pepsi coming out with an ad campaign today saying “The Choice of a New Generation.” This new generation would blog about the ridiculousness of that claim – “you’re telling us what’s our choice?!”
If this is all sounding very left-brained and logical, that’s not my intent. I’ve often said that unless there’s a connection between a consumer and a brand, a sale will never take place. That connection can be emotional and/or rational, but it needs to happen.
And yet, my sense is that there this is an evolution to individuality that’s becoming more pronounced. Companies need to become increasingly more sensitive when choosing how to position themselves and their products. Until this morning, the best case example I could give was the “I’m a Mac” campaign from Apple. As you know, they put it out there – I’m a PC vs. I’m a Mac. In effect, they’re asking, “which one are you like?”
But just today, I saw a headline of “Design-your-own skincare, including ingredients and concentrations” (via Springwise). Of course, I had to go visit this site. Turns out that you can custom blend your own cosmetics from natural ingredients. From the www.mycodage.com/an website:
Convinced that every skin is unique and deserves special treatment, in 2006 Amandine and Julien, with the help of many experts, developed a technology that allows you to customize your product to suit the specific needs of each skin. Codage was born. 100% made in France, CODAGE today delivers worldwide – from its French laboratories directly to you.
A bit stilted in the French to English translation, but how much more personal can you get than that??
As always, I’m interested in your thoughts!