Veganism. Equality. Brexit. The plastic ban. Just some of the biggest trending topics right now.
And for brands, each provides a valuable tool for increasing sales and boosting brand awareness.
By piggybacking off the largest and most-searched stories of the moment, brands and businesses can get their message out to a much wider audience.
Quite often, when the climate is just right, brands can hop on the bandwagon and ride it home – the campaign resonates, sales boom, and said brand seems to become socially responsible too.
Yet it doesn’t always work out that way. Whether it be a misjudgment or just bad timing, sometimes jumping on the bandwagon can backfire. And when you fall off, it can be a long way down…
Getting it Right – Greggs
Research shows a considerable rise among young people, with over 50% of 16 – 29-year-olds having tried a vegan diet in the last year. Younger audiences also want to buy from authentic brands that align with their values – giving brands even more reason to venture into vegan products.
It was audience demand that drove the launch of Greggs’ new product, but what Greggs then had to ensure was that the product became as successful as possible.
Social media played a significant role in the success of the launch, specifically Twitter as a conversationally driven platform, which really engaged audiences. Thousands of tweets were shared by customers praising how tasty the sausage roll is.
And all this publicity turned into a whole lot of sales. The £1 vegan sausage rolls became the fastest selling new line from Greggs in six years, with hundreds of thousands sold in the first week of January, and many trying the new product even if they weren’t taking part in Veganuary.
Missing the Mark, Gillette?
Striking a delicate balance between emotive storytelling and virtue-signalling is a fine art and one that razor blade brand Gillette failed to master earlier this year.
The release of its “We believe: The best a man can be” advertisement, which was aimed at revitalising its instantly-recognisable 30-year-old tagline, ‘The best a man can get’, left a sour taste in the mouths of many consumers after jumping on the ‘toxic masculinity’ bandwagon.
Complete with an emotive narrative and an aspirational brand message, the spot implored men to be better when it comes to their attitudes towards bullying, racial and sexual harassment and workplace sexism.
It’s was a bold move and a noble cause but judging by the response it received online within hours of going live, was one which might have backfired.
Observers noted the ‘preachy’ tone it adopted in its handling of the potentially controversial and divisive subject matter may have alienated, rather than engaged, vast swathes of its key buyer personas. In attempting to redefine masculinity for the post-#MeToo era, Gillette seems to have misjudged its buyer personas – the audience that consumes its products.
Our Top Tips for Targeting Trends
If you want to piggyback off a top trend, ensure you get it right by following our top tips:
- Profile your target audience and their interests so you can spot trends that are meaningful to them (Greggs did this by appealing to a new audience they were trying to break in to).
- Get in early. It’s no longer a trend if everyone is doing it. An early reaction can be a risk because you don’t really know if it will pay off – but if it does, you’ll be leading the pack.
- Make sure the trend is relevant. Veganism is a big trend – but not relevant to you if you manufacture metal parts, but you could adapt it to be about sustainability to make it fit.
- Have a plan. Map out how you would take advantage of the trend and an end goal of what you want to achieve – if this isn’t clear from the start, you’ll struggle to track your success or help your customers to achieve an outcome.
If you’d like help spotting trends in your market, and creating tools to help you take advantage, our team are on hand to be your guide, helping you hop on the bandwagon.
Pop in for a cuppa and a chat. Our door is always open!