We’ve all been there. We’re jamming to some tunes in the car, and suddenly, the radio cuts to a tourism authority commercial . . . the same one you’ve already heard at least five previous times that day, not to mention the tens of times you’ve heard it within the past month. Or better yet: Having that intense Hulu marathon of 11.22.63 be constantly interrupted by a pesky insurance commercial. The last thing on your mind when sleuthing through this riveting sci-fi thriller is getting a great deal on insurance, but that’s a little beside the point.
Two Words . . . Brand FatigueThe reason your blood boils and annoyance threshold is crossed when these things happen can probably be attributed to one thing: brand fatigue. Brand fatigue is the marketing phenomenon of being inundated with too many promotional messages at once. Simply put, we tune out when brands bombard us with too much sales talk. As we’ve seen, getting consumers on your side today involves more than just pushing products on them. As a brand, you should instead be focused on forging personal and sustainable relationships. And doing so means cutting through all the marketing clutter (a.k.a. brand fatigue). According to The Huffington Post United Kingdom, people are exposed to anywhere from 250 to 3,000 ads a day. That’s quite a lot, even for a digital marketer like myself. So what can we do to avoid all of this brand fatigue?
Focus your messages-One of the big reasons people tune out when we try to reach them is because they don’t feel special. Customize your brand’s message—make it seem like you’re in the room with the other person and talking to them one-on-one. Make it personal, and make it relatable. Don’t just send out the same content to everyone. You know the creepy guy at the club that uses the same cheesy one-liner on every woman he talks to? Don’t be that guy.
Give the consumers what they want, not what you think they want-Another big thing that consumers look for in brands is active listening. If they know that we, as marketers, are listening to and pandering to their every need, they will be more likely to not only trust our brand but want to engage with it, as well. If they want to be entertained, put a couple tongue-in-cheek jokes into your message. If they want to be educated, include a couple facts or statistics. Give them something of value.
Use brevity and irregularity to your advantage-A big problem with some brands is that they think that constantly repeating the same things over and over again will not only get their messages across but win people over. This is probably the biggest contributor to brand fatigue. While exposure is good, conversion is better. In marketing, less really is more. The old adage of “Quality over quantity” could not be any truer in this situation. Make each and every promotional message a special and unexpected moment.
Don’t be disruptive-If your message is one that interrupts the flow of someone’s day, chances are they’re just going to avoid it and be irritated. The goal is to find consumers in their most comfortable and open states, and that means reaching them where they want to be reached (ahem, which probably doesn’t include intermissions between scenes of 11.22.63).