SearchLove London | Hannah Smith, Existential Crisis Management

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It’s not just search and technology that’s evolving – consumers’ expectations are too. In Europe and the US, consumers would not care if 92% of brands disappeared. To flourish in the future, brands need to stand for something. Hannah will share her thoughts and experiences on how to figure out what to stand for and create a meaningful brand.

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SearchLove London | Hannah Smith, Existential Crisis Management

  1. Existential Crisis Management @hannah_bo_banna Hannah Smith Content Strategist, Distilled
  2. @hannah_bo_banna seo is *not* dead
  3. @hannah_bo_banna
  4. @hannah_bo_banna
  5. @hannah_bo_banna but seo is constantly evolving
  6. @hannah_bo_banna ranking 1st doesn’t mean what it used to
  7. this is the fold @hannah_bo_banna BBC rank 1st
  8. it’s not just informational queries either @hannah_bo_banna
  9. this is the fold @hannah_bo_banna SkyScanner rank 1st
  10. @hannah_bo_banna google are even targeting some companies’ branded terms
  11. @hannah_bo_banna MoneySuperMarket’s organic listing is above the fold - but Google are being very aggressive
  12. you used to be able to build an amazing business @hannah_bo_banna just by being great at seo
  13. in the future that’s unlikely to be enough @hannah_bo_banna
  14. @hannah_bo_banna as a consequence, seos are being asked to do different things
  15. @hannah_bo_banna get us links! clients of yesteryear
  16. @hannah_bo_banna get us press coverage, social shares, & exposure [links] on sites our target audience reads clients today
  17. so whilst clients might not explicitly ask us @hannah_bo_banna to help them build a brand
  18. @hannah_bo_banna many of the things we do today look a lot like brand building
  19. that’s why I’m giving this presentation today @hannah_bo_banna
  20. @hannah_bo_banna but it’s a big ask
  21. @hannah_bo_banna because, brand apathy is rife
  22. “In Europe and the US, consumers would not care @hannah_bo_banna if 92% of brands ceased to exist” source: http://dis.tl/brand-apathy
  23. that means consumers would only miss @hannah_bo_banna 8% of brands source: http://dis.tl/brand-apathy
  24. @hannah_bo_banna building a brand is *really* tough
  25. particularly on ‘seo’ retainer budgets @hannah_bo_banna
  26. @hannah_bo_banna but you know what?
  27. @hannah_bo_banna challenge accepted
  28. @hannah_bo_banna but where do I start?
  29. @hannah_bo_banna first up - what the hell is a brand?
  30. @hannah_bo_banna we have a tendency to use ‘company’ & ‘brand’ interchangeably
  31. but what does ‘brand’ actually mean? @hannah_bo_banna
  32. @hannah_bo_banna brand to impress firmly; fix ineradicably; place indelibly
  33. @hannah_bo_banna therefore...
  34. @hannah_bo_banna a brand is not a brand unless it leaves a lasting impression
  35. & it needs to be a favourable impression @hannah_bo_banna
  36. companies need to build brands that @hannah_bo_banna mean something to people
  37. so I need to build meaningful brands @hannah_bo_banna
  38. @hannah_bo_banna that sounds really f*cking hard!
  39. @hannah_bo_banna existential crisis (for a company) when a company struggles to find a way for their brand to be meaningful for consumers
  40. @hannah_bo_banna existential crisis management (I think this is my job) help companies find a way to make their brands meaningful for consumers
  41. @hannah_bo_banna how on earth do I do that?
  42. @hannah_bo_banna you can learn a lot by deconstructing the success of others
  43. @hannah_bo_banna so I started studying what ‘meaningful’ brands do
  44. @hannah_bo_banna I uncovered 3 core principles
  45. some meaningful brands do all 3 @hannah_bo_banna
  46. some meaningful brands do just 1 or 2 @hannah_bo_banna
  47. @hannah_bo_banna I’ll deal with them each in turn
  48. 1. ‘meaningful’ brands find opportunities @hannah_bo_banna to delight consumers
  49. most people’s interactions with brands suck @hannah_bo_banna
  50. @hannah_bo_banna great interactions stand out & are shared
  51. this is how @smartcarusa responded when someone inferred that a single bird dropping @hannah_bo_banna would total one of their vehicles
  52. @hannah_bo_banna
  53. @hannah_bo_banna the takeaway here is not: ‘make more sh*tty infographics’
  54. I don’t think the infographic out of context would @hannah_bo_banna have yielded any sort of return
  55. @hannah_bo_banna the takeaway here is: ‘going the extra mile to respond in a novel way can yield out-sized returns’
  56. & this doesn’t need to be a resource-heavy activity @hannah_bo_banna
  57. this is how @DunkinDonuts responded to a @hannah_bo_banna customer who asked if their coffee syrups were available on the black market
  58. @hannah_bo_banna
  59. @hannah_bo_banna the team at Dunkin’Donuts have a library of images they use to delight their customers
  60. this is how @ArgosHelpers responded to a @hannah_bo_banna customer who asked when PS4s would be back in stock
  61. @hannah_bo_banna
  62. @hannah_bo_banna the takeaway here is not: ‘people love brands who use slang’
  63. @hannah_bo_banna
  64. @hannah_bo_banna the takeaway here is: ‘if you can speak the same language without being condescending you’ll go far’
  65. this is how @TescoMobile responded to a customer who claimed their network @hannah_bo_banna was a ‘turn off’
  66. @hannah_bo_banna
  67. @hannah_bo_banna whoa! that is *really* close to the line
  68. @hannah_bo_banna
  69. @hannah_bo_banna the takeaway here is not: ‘be a dick to people who are dicks to you’
  70. @hannah_bo_banna the takeaway here is: ‘a well-judged, ‘cheeky’ response can travel’
  71. @hannah_bo_banna to do this you need a deep understanding of your audience what can you get away with? what’s funny & what’s just rude?
  72. @hannah_bo_banna be mindful - there is a line...
  73. but it’s not just interactions that delight @hannah_bo_banna
  74. @hannah_bo_banna sometimes just being nimble delights consumers
  75. @hannah_bo_banna
  76. @hannah_bo_banna
  77. @hannah_bo_banna the takeaway here is not: ‘you need a bit of luck’
  78. @hannah_bo_banna the takeaway here is: ‘be ready, willing & able to take advantage of opportunities as & when they arise’
  79. @hannah_bo_banna if @Arbys hadn’t tweeted that someone else probably would have & they wouldn’t have benefitted
  80. so, we’ve covered off principle 1: ‘meaningful brands find opportunities to delight @hannah_bo_banna consumers’
  81. 2. ‘meaningful’ brands give people the ability to @hannah_bo_banna define themselves to others
  82. @hannah_bo_banna this is a little tougher to parse - let me talk you through it
  83. have you ever thought about why you share what you share on social media? @hannah_bo_banna
  84. @hannah_bo_banna why did I tweet this?
  85. @hannah_bo_banna
  86. I didn’t think about it too much at the time @hannah_bo_banna
  87. but I’ve thought about it some more since @hannah_bo_banna
  88. I’m embarrassed to admit that I posted that because I was on my own & bored @hannah_bo_banna
  89. @hannah_bo_banna ...it worked like a charm
  90. @hannah_bo_banna yay! with twitter fwends you need never be bored
  91. fortunately I don’t just share stuff like that, @hannah_bo_banna I also share stuff like this:
  92. @hannah_bo_banna
  93. because I want people to think I read hbr.org @hannah_bo_banna
  94. because I want people to think I’m smart @hannah_bo_banna
  95. @hannah_bo_banna
  96. because I want people to think I have an excellent @hannah_bo_banna sense of humour
  97. @hannah_bo_banna
  98. because I want people to know where I stand on @hannah_bo_banna important issues
  99. I share things to shape other people’s @hannah_bo_banna impressions of me
  100. on social media I have two modes: @hannah_bo_banna cries for help (oh the shame!) & defining myself to others
  101. @hannah_bo_banna it’s not just me, we all do this
  102. @hannah_bo_banna but not necessarily consciously
  103. 68% said they share things via social media @hannah_bo_banna to give people a better sense of who they are & what they care about source: http://dis.tl/psych-of-sharing
  104. this is an excellent place for brands to play @hannah_bo_banna
  105. brands can give people the ability to define @hannah_bo_banna themselves to others...
  106. I don’t *necessarily* mean stuff that @hannah_bo_banna literally defines people:
  107. @hannah_bo_banna
  108. brands can also help people define themselves to others @hannah_bo_banna by creating things people will ‘look good’ sharing
  109. @hannah_bo_banna
  110. @hannah_bo_banna the takeaway is not: ‘do stuff on vine’
  111. @hannah_bo_banna the takeaway is not: ‘#f*ckyeah science’
  112. @hannah_bo_banna the takeaway is: ‘create something tangentially related to your brand, that people will look good sharing’
  113. @hannah_bo_banna in a similar vein ‘meaningful’ brands create commercials that don’t feel like commercials
  114. these are things people ‘look good’ sharing @hannah_bo_banna
  115. @hannah_bo_banna touching? awkward?
  116. http://dis.tl/wren-kiss @hannah_bo_banna
  117. my desire was to create something @hannah_bo_banna that was interesting to people beyond a fashion angle... Melissa Coker ~ Wren
  118. [it’s] an interesting film that exists on its own, rather than something that feels @hannah_bo_banna like a commercial… Melissa Coker ~ Wren
  119. @hannah_bo_banna it definitely got people talking
  120. @hannah_bo_banna 92m YouTube views & coverage from over 1300 sites
  121. but this isn’t just a video content play @hannah_bo_banna
  122. when oreo turned 100, they created @hannah_bo_banna 100 pieces of content over 100 days
  123. @hannah_bo_banna
  124. the campaign got over 1m facebook ‘likes’ @hannah_bo_banna & thousands of pieces of press coverage
  125. this highly topical content put the cookie the centre of people’s conversations @hannah_bo_banna without being self-serving
  126. @hannah_bo_banna speaking of being self-serving, here’s what not to do
  127. 45 days worth of planning went into this tweet @hannah_bo_banna
  128. source: http://dis.tl/erm-wtf @hannah_bo_banna
  129. @hannah_bo_banna yuck
  130. I’m really not sure what the thinking behind @hannah_bo_banna this was
  131. source: http://dis.tl/erm-wtf @hannah_bo_banna
  132. @hannah_bo_banna it just looks like a commercial...
  133. the only people who will ‘look good’ sharing this @hannah_bo_banna are people who wish to prove their social media expertise by ridiculing others who don’t get it
  134. I’m guessing this wasn’t the intention @hannah_bo_banna
  135. @hannah_bo_banna so, we’ve covered off principle 1: ‘meaningful brands find opportunities to delight consumers’ & principle 2: ‘meaningful brands give people the ability to define themselves to others’
  136. @hannah_bo_banna still with me?
  137. 3. ‘meaningful’ brands stand for something above & beyond their products or services @hannah_bo_banna
  138. this is tricky to explain in the abstract so I’m going to shoot straight to the examples @hannah_bo_banna
  139. @hannah_bo_banna
  140. BrewDog’s values are pulled from punk subculture, they are anti-establishment & @hannah_bo_banna believe in individual freedom
  141. so when Dead Pony Club ale was ‘banned’ @hannah_bo_banna because the phrase: "rip it up down empty streets" was printed on the label... http://dis.tl/sorry-not-sorry
  142. @hannah_bo_banna
  143. @hannah_bo_banna
  144. & Mark wasn’t the only one who loved @hannah_bo_banna their response
  145. but it’s not just about sweary press releases @hannah_bo_banna
  146. @hannah_bo_banna
  147. when you embrace values like that, @hannah_bo_banna your creative looks like this:
  148. http://dis.tl/nike-greatness @hannah_bo_banna
  149. @hannah_bo_banna to be clear - that is exceptional creative
  150. @hannah_bo_banna & it’s powerful because nike aren’t talking about how their trainers enhance your performance
  151. they’re talking about celebrating everyone’s @hannah_bo_banna athletic endeavours
  152. standing for something beyond your products & services @hannah_bo_banna is most potent when it could cost you
  153. @hannah_bo_banna when Mozilla got a new CEO, OKCupid showed this message to Firefox users:
  154. @hannah_bo_banna why should you do this?
  155. @hannah_bo_banna
  156. @hannah_bo_banna the takeaway from this is not: ‘align your brand with a cause & win the internet’
  157. @hannah_bo_banna the takeaway is: ‘taking a bold stance on a relevant issue, even if it could actually hurt your business can create a lasting impression’
  158. @hannah_bo_banna so here’s where we’re at:
  159. @hannah_bo_banna principle 1: ‘meaningful brands find opportunities to delight consumers’ principle 2: ‘meaningful brands give people the ability to define themselves to others’ principle 3: ‘meaningful brands stand for something above & beyond their products & services’
  160. how has this shaped the way I work today? @hannah_bo_banna
  161. overarchingly it’s made me much more @hannah_bo_banna mindful of what we’re doing
  162. but much of this I can’t affect right now @hannah_bo_banna
  163. sadly, to date, no one’s offered me several million @hannah_bo_banna to create them an ad like Nike’s
  164. @hannah_bo_banna this is the place we play most frequently at the moment
  165. @hannah_bo_banna principle 2: ‘meaningful brands give people the ability to define themselves to others’
  166. 396k visits 354 LRDs 19,4k facebook ‘likes’ 6.5k tweets @hannah_bo_banna
  167. we made this to appeal to people working in the @hannah_bo_banna creative industry
  168. we think people shared this because it: @hannah_bo_banna made them look smart and/or made them look interested & interesting and/or made them look literary
  169. 360k visits 54 LRDs 50k facebook ‘likes’ 1.6k tweets @hannah_bo_banna
  170. we made this to appeal to people who @hannah_bo_banna love reading
  171. we think people shared it because it enabled them to share this love of reading @hannah_bo_banna oh, & maybe brag, just a little
  172. 2m visits 961 LRDs 102k facebook ‘likes’ 4.4k tweets @hannah_bo_banna
  173. we made this to appeal to music fans @hannah_bo_banna (& music journalists)
  174. we think people shared it because it allowed them @hannah_bo_banna to express their opinions
  175. so we’re trying to create things that people @hannah_bo_banna ‘look good’ sharing
  176. & we’re seeing success with that approach @hannah_bo_banna
  177. @hannah_bo_banna but more importantly
  178. we’re taking the time to try to understand the @hannah_bo_banna brands we work with better
  179. so our creative work is better aligned with @hannah_bo_banna the brand’s values
  180. @hannah_bo_banna & it’s opening doors for us
  181. we’re getting access to people higher up in the @hannah_bo_banna organisations we work with
  182. & we’re able to do better work as a result @hannah_bo_banna
  183. this industry is filled with incredible talent @hannah_bo_banna
  184. you are bright, passionate & hard-working @hannah_bo_banna
  185. @hannah_bo_banna you are curious
  186. you take stuff apart to figure out how it works @hannah_bo_banna
  187. @hannah_bo_banna you build stuff for fun
  188. @hannah_bo_banna you thrive on being outside of your comfort zone
  189. @hannah_bo_banna build a brand on shoe-string?
  190. @hannah_bo_banna challenge accepted
  191. @hannah_bo_banna
  192. @hannah_bo_banna good luck out there x
  193. Hannah Smith Content Strategist, Distilled caffeine addict; book worm; would really like a unicorn... send cat pictures or questions to: hannah.smith@distilled.net @hannah_bo_banna
  194. @hannah_bo_banna moar stuff! how to produce content people will share http://dis.tl/MJ-share how to produce better content ideas http://dis.tl/MJ-idea lessons in virality from axl rose http://dis.tl/HS-axl
  195. @hannah_bo_banna credits barney - http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lw7a6htwhy1qif1s5o1_500.png quote - http://www.dumpaday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/the-best-feeling-is-doing-what-people-say-you-can-not-do-motivational-quotes. jpg pharrell - http://www.ibtimes.com/arbys-blasts-pharrells-grammys-hat-twitter-can-we-have-our-hat-back-1548140 if you have a body - http://www.swimbikerunningonempty.com/1/post/2012/12/five-things-friday.html Big love to to the wonderful Distilled folks who helped me put this together: Beverley Reinemann, Duncan Morris, Jess Champion, Lynsey Little, Mark Johnstone, Paddy Moogan, Phil Nottingham, Rich Westenra, & Will Critchlow

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