Consumers are not zombies: Principles of effective brand strategy


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A short presentation outlining the fundamental principles of effective brand strategy. All usefully told in a metaphor of zombies vs consumers. Missed any vital zombie insights? Please do let me know!

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Consumers are not zombies: Principles of effective brand strategy

  1. 1. Consumersare notzombiesBasic principles of effective brand strategy reaffirmed
  2. 2. FIELD SPOTTING GUIDE This is a zombie…
  3. 3. FIELD SPOTTING GUIDEThis is an example of aconsumer….A consumer means past, present,and potential consumers of yourbrand. That means more than justthose who actually pay for yourmarket offering. Media, retailers,employees, and influencers areconsumers too. Your brand(experience, values, and promise)should encompass all in yourmarket.
  4. 4. ZOMBIES LOVE TO CONSUME Zombies just love to eat, shop, and buy anything that falls in their path. They’re single minded consumatons! Consumers don’t. Even though the name suggests otherwise.
  5. 5. ZOMBIES LIKE TO COME TO YOUBe attractive enough and we allknow zombies will go out of theirway to find you, right?Consumers on the other hand, have alife to lead. Making them break withtheir life and style for a brand justdoesn’t work.
  6. 6. ZOMBIES DON’T TALKThey moan occasionally, but they’re not very social creatures. Consumers love to talk, about everything, especially experiences. Communication is core to group cohesion from family, friends to shared interest communities. So how does your brand deal with that?
  7. 7. ZOMBIES DON’T FEEL PAIN Or unhappiness, anger, or any emotion actually. Consumers do, in fact they have lots of emotions. They get curious, frustrated, angry, happy, empassioned, and sad. In fact, emotions should be taken into account at every level of brand engagement.
  8. 8. ZOMBIES ARE PREDICTABLEYep, these guys just do what you expect.Every quantitative generalisation andmodel applies to them neatly.Consumers however, have a tendency to notstick to the rules of empirical or quantitativemodels. Which means brands have to reallyget to know their consumers. © chaosfish1 / Flickr
  9. 9. ZOMBIES DON’T CHANGEOnce a flesh-eating zombie, always a flesh-eating zombie.Consumers do change, as their world changes.Throughout their life they grow and develop,and their tastes, social context, desires, andinfluence(r)s change too. Which means yourbrand can’t stand still either.
  10. 10. ZOMBIES DON’T FORM COMMUNITIESHell, trying to get them to work as a team is astruggle.Consumers do form communities. The bondsthat define modern day communities are sharedvalues, experiences, and emotions.Communities act through emotion, not intellect.A brand is not a community – but can be afacilitator and enabler of them.
  11. 11. ZOMBIES ARE STUPID99% failed their school exams. Fact. Consumers are not stupid. Even though they make emotionally driven decisions, these are based on a framework of rational thought. They do research, they investigate, they talk to people.
  12. 12. ZOMBIES DON’T LIKE SURPRISESZombies like their world in two states: edibleand already dead. Anything else makes themgrumpy.Consumers love surprises, of the good sort. Abrand is a promise and there’s no such thing asover-fulfilling a promise. That’s when brandsbecome great experiences.
  13. 13. ZOMBIES ARE DEAD Academia is debating whether they’re fully dead or mostly dead, but dead is they key word here. Consumers are very much alive. So don’t communicate with them like they’re dead. In today’s world you have a fleeting chance to engage with them, make every single point of contact with your brand interesting, engaging, and even amazing if possible.
  14. 14. ZOMBIES DON’T LIKE THINKINGZombies hate complexity andlike a simple life. Eat, eat, walka bit, eat, eat.Consumers… actually,consumers hate complexitytoo. When you think of ?something, ask yourself, can itbe done simpler? Makingconsumers think usually meansyou’ve lost them.
  15. 15. ZOMBIES DON’T EXIST.Your consumers do.Brant EmeryIndependent brand strategistwww.rentabrant.comYour brand is your business.™