Brand marketing tip: Make it about your customers

You’re not the hero

As a small business owner, you’ve been bombarded with information about why you need to promote your business on social media. A solid brand marketing tip is to spend time promoting your business and keeping your presence top-of-mind for customers when they have a problem you or your products can solve.

I struggled with it, too. I have a side hustle myself. I’m grinding it out, just trying to keep my supplies stocked up and follow up with customer orders. In the not too distant past, finding time to develop a marketing strategy felt like the last thing I had time to focus on.

The idea of actually promoting my products was so overwhelming, I just avoided it completely. I have friends who were in the same situation and they handed their social media to a family friend to manage — badly.

You’re not the hero of this story

It wasn’t until I was reading a magazine on an overcrowded flight for my day job that a headline cleared up the fog surrounding my fears and made creating content to share on my social networks as clear as (I assume) the oceans in Jamaica would look if I had the time to actually take a vacation. (I love what I do, so I’m OK with waiting a few years for that extended trip.) The headline jumped off the page and I fell in love with it:

You’re not the hero of the story.

I’ll be honest. It sounded backwards. I don’t really have a marketing budget to promote my products. Spending the little time I had for social media felt wasted when I was spotlighting someone else. That was until I saw big brands doing it really well — and gave me a free brand marketing tip.

Here’s what I found:

Dove Skin Care

Brand Marketing Tip Dove
Photo: Dove’s Facebook Page

I’m in love with what Dove is doing. (Yes, Dove Skin Care.) Here’s a brand that is in business to sell you products to make you feel better about your appearance, taking a bold stance. They made a simple video that 68 million viewers on YouTube have watched.

In the video, women describe themselves to a sketch artist who can’t see what they look like. They also had a stranger who just met them describe what they looked like for a different sketch that the women didn’t know about. Then, they showed the woman both sketches side-by-side. The results were dramatic and, frankly, beautiful.

It made me — as a consumer — feel like Dove wants to make us feel good about ourselves. They didn’t promote their products to help make that happen. They were saying, “You’re beautiful to start with; we’re our own harshest critic.”

In their marketing, they make us the hero — and it’s a brilliant brand marketing tip.

 

Another example comes from a viral video I saw a few years ago.

DDP Yoga

Brand Marketing Tip DDP
Photo: DDP Yoga’s Facebook Page

Here’s another great brand marketing tip, this time in a video from DDP Yoga. In it, a man tells his story about how an injury from his service in the military left him with a future that involved surgery and limited mobility, walking with assistance for the rest of his life.

Then, he found yoga.

He talks about his coach, former pro wrestling star Diamond Dallas Page, and how yoga gave him hope. He documented his yoga journey for a year, and at the end of the video he’s running down the street. It’s powerful and dramatic. That video takes customer testimonials to the next level (read: brand marketing tip).

The difference is that DDP Yoga portrays Arthur Boorman as the hero — and never talks about the brand.

If I’m being honest, I can’t tell you the name of a single yoga studio in my city. But if someone asked me about it, I’m sending them to DDP Yoga. Making your customer the hero works.

Let’s recap

When you’re searching for a brand marketing tip, think about your customers. What makes them unique? What’s their story and how does your product or service help them along their journey in life? Showcase that stuff and you’ll never miss a beat with your marketing.

Remember, you’re not the hero of someone’s story. You’re play a supporting role in lots of stories — and that is something special.

Isaac Irvine
A cheerleader for small business owners and buying local, Isaac “loves the heart and soul that local businesses put into their products and services.” He’s especially interested in writing articles and sharing advice about productivity and efficiently building a business. “It’s hard to run a business and balance family and friends,” he says. “I have young kids and a wife at home, so I know how important family time is. I love sharing tips and tricks that help small businesses grow and give them more time to spend with the people who support their dream at home.”   When he’s not at work, you can usually find Isaac and his kids riding their bikes at the local skatepark or sampling local coffee offerings.   Isaac is a native of Northern California who transplanted to Phoenix eight years ago to work for GoDaddy.