Five years ago, I wrote this blog post on 5 Ways to Harness Bold Marketing Strategy, what I thought would be my last for Boldthink at the time. In those five years, I have seen brands take on these strategies with gusto to the point where now some can be seen as cliché. Maybe your purchase of toothpicks doesn’t need to be tied back to a charity donation. But the reality is that this strategy has lifted up many issues in our world and given consumers a thoughtful choice.
I’m glad to be back and have an opportunity to update this list as we continue to push the envelope of what is bold in the modern marketing landscape. So, here are 5 more bold marketing strategies with the hopes that we can continue to create more opportunities to do good in our everyday lives:
Recenter on Human Capital
In a world where we so often hear that profit is the #1 concern for a business, consumers want to choose companies that take care of their workers. By supporting your work staff vocally with fair wages, generous benefits, and flexible PTO opportunities, you create allies in your clients who help support your team. Every human in your organization is a walking, talking representation of your living brand, which ultimately makes them the greatest asset or liability of how outsiders perceive your business.
Take Time to Listen
It is easy to create content and gather attention. But brave marketers know that the company is not the lead character of their brand’s story: the customer is. Set aside time to read reviews of your business and respond personally and professionally to each. Through righting wrongs and thanking and reminiscing about good reviews, you can create an individual experience. Reach your target audience by first understanding how they already perceive you.
Address Systemic Problems
All businesses provide goods and services, but it is a bold strategy to recognize and address systemic issues your clientele faces as a hurdle to success. A great example of this was when Domino’s began its Paving for Pizza campaign to patch potholes that caused sloppy pizzas upon arrival. Your systemic issue may be more complex, but consumer education can create opportunities for deep engagement with your brand. Nothing earns the public’s admiration like fixing an everyday problem.
Flip the Narrative
Many business operations fall into cracks where they are vital to society but ultimately invisible or, in some cases, detested unnecessarily. But through sharing dynamic stories that create direct lines of sight into your unique solutions, you can increase the visibility of your brand. Garbage collection flipped becomes diversion from landfill. Special Ed becomes Individualized Education. Unskilled laborers become essential workers. It is not uncommon for these kinds of transitions to happen every several years to adjust public perception, but being on the front lines of humanizing the invisible positions in our society creates memorable connections.
Make People Angry
With values-driven marketing, one thing is certain: if you aren’t making someone mad, you aren’t making an impact. The reality is that not everyone will hold the same values as you, but as they say, the riches are in the niches. Anger is one of the strongest emotions a brand can harness, and anger surrounding intimate beliefs creates strong bonds. Businesses exist to solve problems of the world around them and make lives better. By acknowledging a client’s anger and then creating an opportunity to fix it, you can convert quickly and create deeply bonded client relationships.
It is possible you think that some of these bold marketing strategies are beyond the expectation of your business sector. Good. The reality is that choosing a bold strategy means considering opportunities outside of your competitors’ comfort zones. True boldness goes beyond gimmicks and in-your-face communication. Bold marketing requires strong belief beyond the dry mission statement on your corporate website. With it must come the willingness to stand up for your beliefs, your culture and your customer. Not all of these strategies will work for all businesses, but actions must be taken to truly be bold.