Consumers Today Are Fussy Crying Babies & Possibly Your Marketing Asset

 

Well, Trump is STILL President and it’s definitely causing consumer havoc like never before. It’s a shock to the world, considering the media narrative against him – it’s also a miraculous feat for him to make it into office. It has proven that the mainstream media is one voice among many other stronger voices on the internet collectively impacting elections.

What lies for the future, we do not know, but what you cannot deny is what you also see daily. When you turn on the news, have you noticed that you are almost always greeted by…that’s right, another protest?

These protests are not all Trump-related though, they are various acts of humans trying to remind “Big Corporations”, “Big Government” and “Big Journalism”  that the party is over. Not even exclusive to the United States, consumers today are complaining and activating those complaints with protests like never before. They are enraged at brands who do not take ownership over the eco-systems they break.

When it comes to these protestors, it’s easy to think shut-up already you big crying baby! Then again, have you ever tried telling a crying baby to shut up and stop crying? If you have ever had children, that has probably never resulted in a quiet happy baby.  What these protests and cries from the public demonstrate is a TIME for us to address the babies needs and rock it to sleep with the TLC we(brands) know we can deliver.

On the one hand, these protests can be viewed as complaints. As a negative to brands. But let’s uncover the value of complaints. Ever heard this one about consumer complaints?  “The customer is always right.”

Absolutely not. The customer wants their problem to be solved, which means they want you to be right. They want you to understand the problem and provide an appropriate, affordable solution. The perception that you are the right brand for the job will bring customers back again and again.

What these protests and cries from the public demonstrate is a TIME for brands to continue being RIGHT. It’s a time for us to rock these babies to sleep with the TLC we(brands) know we can deliver.

Let’s take for example US food manufacturing. Essentially consumers are WAY awake to how what they buy directly impacts how the world works.

Consumers know that half of their grocery store is run by one of these 10 brands. This is common knowledge.





Guess what else they know. They also know that none of the above brands has very high sustainability standards. People are very aware of how outdated and incomplete this food pyramid is and yet it is STILL the standard:

Secondly, people are very aware of how outdated and incomplete this food pyramid is and yet it is STILL the standard:


They know that the largest corporations control how policies get shaped.

It’s the simple connection that when I buy this, it means I am supporting this brand who is responsible for this. It’s transparency and an “Oh shit” moment for brands like never before.

For instance:

Consumers find it hard to believe there isn’t a cure for cancer: when at the same time, there is all this stuff on our grocery store shelves related to causing cancer.

Isn’t that so strange? Call it a conspiracy theory, it’s not. It’s everyday, general dinner table conversation. People are frankly asking these questions to their peers. They can’t quite understand how or why cancer products are on store shelves, but they notice something is wrong.


Couple your greatest internet sleuths like Vani Deva Hari, who blogs as the Food Babe as an American author, activist, and affiliate marketer who criticizes the food industry. With the rampant information available to explicitly outline how brands can improve their corporate responsibility. Consumers are well aware. It’s not even just industry-specific,  transparency has touched every industry.

Even marketing itself.

What do I mean? By virtue of the fact that there are millions of experts in the field of marketing, it has caused what was once closed door marketing intel to be open information through the art of content marketing. So, marketers will use private information about how marketing works to the public in order to sustain their position as an expert.

Through marketers own needs to market and stand-out they’ve published books that paint the picture clearly. For instance, books like Seth Godin’s “All Marketers are Liars/Tell Stories” with over 3,000,000 copies sold and translated to 35 languages. Then add in the millions of articles that have dove-tailed by his thinking…


Consumers know that brands lie. Regularly.


The compound effect has created a very anti-advertising climate. Consumers that are very wary and anti-whatever your company purportedly confirms as their story — and you know what they do instead? they will tell the story that you don’t want to tell if you do not tell it before them. All corporations have secrets. All corporations have things they know they can and should be confronting – especially when it comes to simple things like sustainability. Modern slavery. Deforestation. Ocean plastics. Etc.

They begin to tell the story that you don’t want to tell if you do not tell it before them. All corporations have secrets. All corporations have things they know they can and should be confronting – especially when it comes to simple things like sustainability. Modern slavery. Deforestation. Ocean plastics. Etc.

All corporations have secrets. All corporations have things they know they can and should be confronting – especially when it comes to simple things like sustainability. Modern slavery. Deforestation. Ocean plastics. Etc.

What we see is consumers inadvertently forcing brands to transform into armies of collective do-gooding.

As brands are thoroughly aware: Consumers are ready, willing and able to drive these armies into the marketplace by shifting their $5 dollars here and there and everywhere to a brand who meets their everyday life concerns. They know they can protest. They know they can retaliate with Twitter storms and MAKE the news cover what they want simply by creating conversations online about it.

Meaning: Brands cannot hide behind marketing anymore. Take for example the marketing agency Havas.

Havas is a French multinational advertising and public relations company, headquartered in Paris, France. It operates in more than 100 countries and is one of the largest global advertising and communications groups in the world. Havas employs 17,500 and consists of two main operational divisions:

  • Havas Creative Group (including Havas Worldwide, Arnold Worldwide and a range of other agencies)
  • Havas Media Group (including Havas Media, Havas Sports & Entertainment, and Arena Media)

The Group offers a broad range of communications services, including digital, advertising, direct marketing, media planning and buying, corporate communications, sales promotion, design, human resources, sports marketing, multimedia interactive communications and public relations.


Low and behold, Havas has recently launched: Meaningful-brands.com

There is a reason why when Havas recently launched “Meaningful-Brands” – they launched it on the side of their “Havas Worldwide” corporation. They had to find a diplomatic way to address their future marketing customers without pissing off existing customers of Havas Worldwide.

In their new side-launch research slash marketing agency, where their services include: “Meaningful Brand Audit”, “Meaningful Brands Workshops” and “Meaningful Brans Content Services”  they come out with this big news that might be contradictory to all of their existing marketing contracts with Havas Worldwide…because what Havas Meaningful stands for probably isn’t what clients at Havas Worldwide clients actually signed-up for. It makes sense that you can’t actually shoot your own sales of last year and the year before in the foot.

Havas-Meaningful faces the music of the consumer crybaby syndrome with marketing that addresses consumers actual concerns.  Let’s just take the research they did and value it. Havas-Meaningful recently surveyed 1,500 global brands, more than 300,000 people, 33 countries and 15 different industry sectors and they found:

  • People wouldn’t care if 74% of the brands they use just disappeared.
  • 75% of consumers expect brands to make more of a contribution to our wellbeing and quality of life, yet only 40% believe brands are doing so.
  • Content delivered by brands is underperforming to such an extent that it’s having little impact on business results or people’s lives. 84% of people expect brands to produce content. Yet 60% of all content created by brands is poor, irrelevant or fails to deliver.

The most important statistic that you need to know is:

MEANINGFUL BRANDS HAVE OUTPERFORMED THE STOCK MARKET BY 206% OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS


The reason it is so important for you to know this is that you will waste a whole lot of time and money on content that doesn’t mean anything to your consumers if you don’t start realizing your COMPANIES ROLE in damage control.

Today being a “cutting edge” business is absolutely about finding the latest technology that enhances your products and services, but it also depends on your abilities to remedy the curveballs the public might throw at you on a whim. Curveballs related to your corporate responsibility efforts aka the latest consumer outcry. The goal is to make these adjustments ahead of or in time for whatever impending Tweetstorm there is lurking around the corner for your brand.

And today, if the world LARGEST and longest standing marketing agencies (Havas)  are addressing “being meaningful” with side-launch agencies (Havas Meaningful) it means that it’s not just the consumers of products trying to stand for social and ecological responsibility. It points to the obvious, that those same consumers are also employees of big corporations.  Those employees are steering things through sustainable activities that create demand for companies like Havas-Meaningful.

Even though at MMG we don’t have the resources to interview 300,000 people – we don’t need to do that. We still provide the same insights as these big brands, because it’s so obvious there is no escaping the pressured conversations happening about in our communities about pollution and corporate responsibility.  A simple Google Search can provide all of the research and insight you need to disclose where consumers doubt you are placing efforts. Where MMG can help is how to diplomatically address and engage your biggest “haters” into spokespersons for your company through the art of strategic content marketing. These complainers are actually your future marketers.

Only – they won’t be on your side until you do something to show you are on their side too. 🙂


About the Author: Hi my name is Corinne Meier and I can always be found deep in the abyss of trends for all things digital, government, culture, and economy. I am hot on how micro-shifts in thinking lead to macro-shifts in behavior. I apply this collective wisdom when I counsel startups to Fortune 500 on how to stay ahead via MMG: Meier Marketing Global.  I  look forward to connecting, please feel free to tag me in any items that you think are relevant to #Writing, #ContentMarketing, #CorporateResponsibility, #Communications, or #Tech on LinkedIn, Instagram, Medium or Twitter. I would love to join your conversations and explore your findings. Thank you so much for listening to my thoughts, please don’t forget to share your thoughts with me in the comments section below!