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Is brand fatigue becoming an issue?

20/06/2014

For a while last year, it was popular to refer to relatively minor impediments as ‘first-world problems’, before a host of people from the so-called third world pointed out that they also suffered from mundane daily concerns, despite the Western assumption that their lives consisted of either terrible tragedies or heartwarming Hollywood moments.

The divide between developed and emerging economies is now the subject of a new report from Momentum Worldwide, which has suggested that people in countries with long-established consumer spending power feel less connected to brands than their counterparts in less complacent parts of the world.

More than half of those surveyed in Britain, Japan and the US expressed indifference towards some of the best-known brands in the market, such as Apple, reports Marketing Week.

If global, glamorous organisations like the tech manufacturer are no longer inspiring cynical consumers in developed markets, what chance is there for their smaller counterparts?

Sam Thomson, UK brand and values director at The Body Shop, told the news provider that as more channels emerge there is a possibility that consumers will become fed up with hearing the same type of campaign over and over again.

“Brand fatigue exists, especially when brands just copy and paste the above-the-line marketing campaign into the social sphere and expect it to resonate,” he declared.

“The days of top-down brand preaching are extremely numbered; it’s key to be in step with consumers’ lifestyles and ensure that the content at each touch point is relevant to this.”

Unified but unique content

What does this mean for marketing recruitment? Businesses looking to refresh their teams as we move into a period of economic growth in the UK could have brand fatigue and the need for unique, customer-led content in mind as they look for new talent.

There is something of a paradox in the comments made by Mr Thomson. A great focus has been placed in the past on ‘unified’ multichannel content - that is, consumers should be able to shop for something on their smartphone and have the same kind of experience as they would have were they instead using a desktop computer, or even browsing through a catalogue.

However, when it comes to marketing, the channel shapes the content to some extent, or at least it should do.

Shoppers will expect to be able to utilise all the channels available to them, but it could be worth bringing in social media specialists to ensure that Twitter or Facebook marketing is appropriate for the platform rather than simply copied from an old print campaign.

Personalisation

Nick Ambridge, senior brand manager at Belvedere Vodka, told Marketing Weekly that the UK’s status as a developed market means things happen more quickly than they do elsewhere.

“In emerging markets, people are discovering brands. The UK is an advanced market in terms of brands, trends and products, and we often see things faster than many developing countries.” he added.

Interestingly, the millennial generation are particularly unengaged with branding, perhaps because the vast array of choice and information offered by the internet makes people less likely to rely on one particular product or service.

When instant reviews of almost anything can be found with just a few clicks of the mouse, it can be difficult to convince younger people of the efficacy of brand loyalty.

Only 23 per cent of people reported a close affinity to particular brands within the sought-after 18 to 24-year-old age bracket, Momentum Worldwide revealed.

If this all seems rather negative, there are still ways in which marketers can connect with people in this demographic. However, as explained above, there is no panacea or one-size-fits-all solution.

Yahoo research director for Northern Europe Patrick Hourihan said: “When communicating with the Gen Z audience in particular, brands must talk the talk. Messaging needs to be authentic, engaging and consistent across all brand channels in order to stay relevant.”

What does all this advice mean when it comes to recruitment?

Well, personalisation, socialisation and multichannel skills are all the key buzzwords to take away from Momentum's report.

Essentially, people in developed economies are becoming more adept at spotting nonsense. Their extensive experience within the world of marketing has rendered them more immune to empty promises and bluster.

To combat this, marketers need to produce more personalised, engaging and sincere campaigns.

This means hiring data analysis experts who can help them gain a 3D picture of consumers, as well as talented writers and content producers from both B2B and B2C backgrounds who can create the kind of copy they need.