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Monday, December 11, 2023

Resisting trends

Nestlé’s Global Brand Director Alessandra Montrasio (above) talks to Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian about consistent, effective brand strategies, and why being on-trend isn’t always best practice for your brand

Why are marketeers often tempted to try the latest trends?

FOMO! They could have a fear of missing out. When they see their peers doing something new, they might want to join the flock and experiment as well. For others, it could be their ego; they want their work to stand out, so they try the latest hype, to get noticed. However, the newest social media channel might not be the right one for their brand.

Why should they resist the lure of real-time marketing? 

As marketers, we should treat our brands more like an entrepreneur would. The marketing budget is clearly not our personal money, so some marketers in large organisations do not feel a pressure to be ultra-efficient, but they should. Especially when there is potentially a crisis looming around us. For me, it is very important that the time, money and budget we have is treated with the utmost respect.

How should they make the decision to follow or not follow a new trend? What if their competitor is on the new platform?

We should always go back to the essence of our brand, the DNA of the brands we work for. We are here to serve our brands and business. Even if something is working for our competitors, it might not necessarily work for us. Is it in line with the essence of our brand? Does it make sense for us to do what our competitor is doing? Sometimes we should follow their steps; there is nothing wrong in doing that. But we should assess new trends, treat them as new opportunities and try them out, as long as we stay true to the task that we are on. We should not feel bad if we consciously decide the new trend is not right for us.

Is it always possible to know from the beginning if it will not work for your brand?

If you have a detergent brand, and your target is men and women aged over 50, empty nesters living on the outskirts of town, and the main driver for purchase is price, does it make sense to be on TikTok? Perhaps not. If your target market is not using that social media channel, there may be no point in your brand being there.

What is hot in the marketing world today? What new opportunities do you see?

TikTok is a huge rising opportunity, and many brands are experimenting with it. There is also a surge in real-time marketing, brands being present in conversations. It started with the Oreo tweet during the Super Bowl blackout nine years ago. The tweet got a lot of attention, and it was the first time that a brand executed it so effectively. Since then, all marketers are always on the lookout for such opportunities to go viral, to comment on something happening in the news and become a twitter trend. Many brands are doing this, but I am starting to be a bit cautious. If you have a household detergent brand, do people really want to know your view on a high-profile celebrity trial? I am not so sure. In my previous role, I led the creation of a Facebook post commenting a societal hot topic that went viral in Italy and I considered it an achievement for a long time… but now that I think about it, I am not sure if it was necessary. This trend will continue, but I believe that as a brand, sometimes we need to go back to the basics.

 

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