This one ad is so ingrained in my neural system that there is no chance I am ever going to forget it. The Axe Perfume Ad where a bunch of girls run towards a guy who wore this perfume. Remember? Take a look-
Back in 2009, an Indian man, Vaibhav Bedi sued the same company for not keeping up with its promise made in the advertisement.
He said in his court petition that the company cheated him. He said the advertisements, “women will be attracted to you if you use Axe.” And apparently, he used the perfume for seven years but couldn’t attract any girl.
He actually did that.
Now isn’t that just sad!
The way I see it, the company leveraged on human emotions for sales numbers. Did the means provide end to the customer? I believe not.
There are so many instances and moments where a marketer is on the crossroads and has to choose between – audience needs and emotions and immediate sales targets.
So, how to make that decision easier?
The number one and the most obvious check is – “Do you really provide what you promise?”
Just black and white; plain and simple. The answer to it will make you realise what’s more important for your brand – audience trust or immediate increase in sales.
While both can co-exist, your priority defines your brand’s values and will always drive decision making.
Read more only if you are interested in building the former – Building Audience Trust.
These 3 questions will help you keep your brand to the service of your audience-
- Do you really know your audience? Do you know what income class they belong to? What stereotypes they relate to? Where they stand today and what their aspirations are? What do they want to make of themselves?
- Do you understand what they are missing? Respect. Love. Money. Luxury. Time.Knowledge. Freedom. Skills. Our audience sometimes is not even aware of what they wish or need. As a brand, how do you make their lives better and simple, in a way no one else is able to?
- Do you know who do they listen to? If you really want to reach your audience, you need to know who they listen to. I remember being a part of an NGO that reached out to people in rural areas to persuade them to send their women and children to schools. A lot of parents would say, “If they go, who will manage household chores? Who will help us in the fields?” I remember a senior of mine who would just be very transaction about the whole thing and say, “If you want a brighter future, you need to send them.” But that’s not something these people were thinking. Their priority was to earn food for today and the next day. My point is you need to be really careful in choosing your brand ambassador.
“Past customers have a 65% chance of converting compared to a 13% chance for new prospects.” – Neil Patel
So, don’t worry about your sales numbers. The more you give, the more you get.
Stay true to your brand. Stay true to your audience. Honor your commitments.