Why Brands Win When They Seek Audiences Not Customers

1440628624781Today, the most successful brand strategies are those that take an audience development approach. And by “audience” I mean your customers, users or members of your brand tribe. Why use the word “audience” rather than customers?

First of all, as opposed to customers, an audience is looking to make an emotional connection and will give their attention when they get what they desire. Plus, to a brand, customers are merely numbers reflecting a transaction. When we shift the language to audience, we evoke a connection with an individual that is more than transactional it’s emotional. And when brands build experiences for audiences, rather than their customers, a relationship is built that, if done right, can sustain for a long time.

“Humans are emotional creatures and they want experiences that engage them as humans. They’re not eyeballs, impressions, views, likes, shares, clickthroughs, or conversions.” – Brian Solis, August 2015

Further, if we look at the current role of content in successful brand strategies, the ultimate goal is that brands are creating added value content that resonates with your particular brand audience. (Btw, you have to get to know your audience and understand what they want before you can even create strategies that provides them with particular unique value). And no matter what kind of content you are creating, the goal is to get the attention of the right people via providing them with either entertainment or information that engages people emotionally.

Whether brands know it yet or not, with each foray into creating original brand content, they are, little by slowly, becoming media companies.

Indeed, customers are now audiences. And those brands that consider this perspective in their strategies will succeed quicker than the rest. Check out Red Bull, they’re a great example of this.

So …

Brands, meet your audience.

Audiences, meet your brands.

You, Me & Brands: Cross-Platform Identity Building

imgresToday expression of one’s personal identity includes both who we are offline and online. And our online persona is expressed across multiple media platforms. We all have a “cocktail” of platforms that we use to express ourselves in our digital life. For me, my “cocktail” includes LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the StoryDisruptive website. I also have a collection of content that plays a role in the expression of who I am to others. I have my status updates, blogs, pictures and videos. Some of these express the woman I am as a professional and in my personal life. Together, they stand to represent me to anyone looking to know me, professionally or personally.

This is how it is for all individuals expressing themselves in today’s digitally rich human communication system. Expressing who we are is a cross-platform experience created using our own unique content. Continue reading