Engaging the savvy consumer with brand authenticity and self-irony

Brits are more marketing-savvy than ever before.  It has become vulgar for brands to simply talk-up their good points and brag about why they should be chosen over competitors. This approach increasingly leads to consumers either switching off or using their social networks to deflate brand pretensions. The savvy consumer doesn’t actually believe Nicole Scherzinger is an advocate of chocolate Muller puds, instead they are more likely to perceive the brand as unauthentic and trying to hide the product behind a shiny façade and a famous face.

Over the past year however, brands have been reaping the benefits through a change of tactic, connecting more authentically with consumers by embracing honest marketing. Brands are realising that mockery and parody is often the result of taking yourself too seriously – instead it is becoming apparent that often the best way to defend against these outcomes is by adopting the opposite, with clever use of irony and self-satire.

One great example of a brand embracing this form of self-satire came this summer when Protein World stirred controversy with their tube posters asking commuters if they were ‘Beach Body Ready’. Carlsberg responded with some genius gentle self-mocking, using ‘self-deprecation to assert their core brand values; unpretentious, non- idealistic and light-hearted.’ (Nvision – The Self-Satirising Brand, 2015).

Beach Body Read

Ultimately, brands need to know what their mission is and be clear in what they do and say to consumers.

Honesty is the best policy, with savvy consumers seeing through simple celebrity endorsements and marketing buzzwords. Brand irony and self-satire is a great method of remaining honest and connecting with consumers expected to become a staple of marketing strategy over the coming year and beyond.

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About Author

Joe Wilson

With a background in Psychology, Joe has an intrinsic interest in what makes people tick: relishing the challenges and intricacies of interpreting how and why consumers behave in the way they do, and turning this into actionable insight.

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