Are You Outrageous, Useful or Oblivious?

Catching people´s attention is increasingly more difficult. Skipping ads is easier than ever and the opportunities to enjoy truly great entertainment (which marketing communications seldom is) more vast than ever. People really do not care about majority of brands. Surprisingly they have more important things on their mind.

To make people care (even a little bit), you first have to make yourself known. In the current marketing climate, there is only two ways for that. You are either:

1. Outrageous
World´s most successful branded app is less popular than the most successful fart app. People love dancing babies, cats, crazy dances and many other inane things. If you want to create truly outrageous brand campaign, you have to benchmark the popular culture phenomena and be at least on the same level or go beyond that.
When to go outrageous?
When you want to get instant attention, maximize the eyeballs and virality of your campaign.
What it requires from the brand?
For what brands it works?
For lifestyle brands with edgy brand persona.

2. Useful
Moonwalking pony with Fleetwood Mac soundtrack does not work for all brands.
If you want to create something truly useful, first of all you have stop browsing all the marketing blogs (expect this, of course) and start browsing how the people are actually behaving.
You have to build your brand experience around the real experiences of your target audience. You should never assume that the audience would care about your brand a single bit unless you bring some value for them. Creating useful things is more demanding, difficult and than to shock people or get cheap laughs. However if you can truly become part of people´s behavior, it is much harder to break that relationship instead of jumping to the next outrageous fad.
When to go useful?
When you want to create something long-lasting
What it requires from the brand?
Patience & Investment
For what brands it works?
For what brands it would not? If you cannot create anything useful for your target audience, maybe you should do some deep brand soul searching.

Caution: Even though you create something truly useful, you have to still promote it. If you just build it, they will not come. 80% of branded apps have under 1000 downloads. Firstly because many times they are low quality marketing crap and secondly because they are poorly promoted.

If you are not either of the above, you have the one last resort for your brand:
Total oblivion.

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