Brands out there have it pretty tough in today’s modern, digital world. Your products, staff, organisation and public image are out on display 24/7. So it’s important to make sure you are continually making the right impression on those who matter most – your customers (especially potential customers). A common problem experienced by many brands is what we at Chilli like to call ‘The Crust Theory’. Problem: my kid won’t eat their crusts (i.e. some people don’t like my brand or product). Therefore, we need to change our customers’ perception of our brand and/or product offering.
Do you remember as a child how your parents and grandparents would always encourage you to finish every last bite of your lunchtime sandwich? Regardless of whether it was cut into triangles or squares, you still couldn’t get past the chewy blandness that is the crusts. “Eat your crusts, it’ll make your hair curly” were thrown around my household like there was no tomorrow! But that commonly shared ideal still put me off my meal.
But what if we changed that public perception? In the same way that children don’t like eating their crusts, many customers don’t like some aspects or features of brands. It could be their poor use of social media, a previous marketing tactic implemented incorrectly, or rumours and gossip of a brand in the public realm. What if we could take these ‘blemishes’ and turn them into valuable branding assets?
The Crust Theory
It’s all about a shift in crust perception. We want to take the negative or unfavourable elements/comments and turn them into our strengths, to reposition crusts as a desirable choice. Let’s reposition crusts alongside the likes of chocolate cake and lollies, instead of broccoli and brussle sprouts.
How do we aid this shift in perception? What tactics do you put in place? How can we make crusts appear desirable without force-feeding our kids (customers)? How can it naturally, natively and organically appear that crusts are in fact crunchy, yummy, goodness?
Digital Influencer Strategy
What if we collaborated with the popular social influencers to create a ‘crust eating movement’? Employing trusted, inspirational, and engaging people with large social media followings AND their own collateral is a highly effective means of generating online conversation and conversion. Think of it as getting the cool kids to eat their crusts first, so that the not-so-cool kids follow suit too.
Branding and Imagery
What if we repositioned the idea of having curly hair as desirable? Think of it as a benefit generated by your product or service. For example, people do not eat bread crusts to get curly hair, but it could be a nice additional incentive. Curly hair is not a direct result of your product or service and its purpose, but it is a fun and playful bonus. Let’s make curly hair aspirational by creating an interactive and engaging brand image! Social media can increase this awareness significantly. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat (to name a few) are all highly popular social platforms and an excellent medium to communicate with your customers on their level. Conversation across social media is informal, so your brand has the ability to be organic, light hearted, engaging, and motivating in this space. You also have the opportunity to position your brand in a shareable medium, to further extend your message reach.
The Perception of Experiential
To really have an effect on your audience, organisations must consider getting involved, not just initiating one-way communication online. Brands who can create an experience for their customers will experience longevity in message reach, understanding, and follow-through action from customers – an evolution from customers to brand advocates.
For example, what if we created limited edition Artisanal, 100% organic crusts? We could collaborate with artisan chefs to create a food truck and culture that can only be found by locating a trail of breadcrumbs (just like Hansel and Gretel). Digital breadcrumbs, in fact, to be located through Google Maps. Users could follow the crust crumbs to find our limited edition crusts. Experiential, ambient and guerrilla marketing at its finest (and yummiest)!
Public Relations Strategy
For all of these ideas and elements to come together like sliced bread, developing a strategic public relations strategy is vital. What if we created a viral crust awareness campaign to encourage kids to eat their crusts? And then nominating three of their friends to eat their crusts too, and so on? We will also create a hashtag – #eatyourcrusts or #thecrustytruth. Media releases and a potential campaign trail would soon follow given the strategic success.
If your brand identity is not up to scratch, and you think you may need some help, contact Chilli and let one of our experienced Strategic Account Managers assist you in activating your brands potential and changing the public perception through marketing tactics. We assure you there will be no half-baked ideas here – only golden and fluffy slices of marketing goodness (with crust on top)!