Creating brand relevance – emotional differentiation and a higher purpose

Today, the battle for marketing supremacy is being fought in the minds of our customers. The objective of brands is no longer to capture the customers’ attention, as it was in the heyday of mass media, but to create relevance – a purpose or brand belief that they can relate to and connect with at an emotional level. Research into cognitive neuroscience and brain function unequivocally supports this hypothesis.

Brands that create and effectively communicate an emotional, higher purpose will enjoy lasting differentiation and relevance compared to those that position themselves exclusively against functional attributes (which can be replicated by competitors).

The advent of social media has provided a perfect platform to enable authentic personal conversations between brands and customers. Trilogy, the supremely successful New Zealand pioneer of natural skin care launched a two-month ‘100% UNRETOUCHED’ media campaign this week.

Their media release says, “We’ve always been believers in the power of the high-performance natural ingredients in our formulations. Nature’s super-ingredients, proven to deliver amazing results. The last thing we would want to do is sell them short by embellishing our marketing. Being 100% unretouched means that we don’t retouch the images of people in our advertising: the performance of our products speaks for itself.”

Their campaign call-to-action asks customers to visit their Facebook page to comment and badge themselves with a specially designed ‘100% UNRETOUCHED’ logo. At the time of writing their page had 17,341 likes and growing, with 521 currently talking about it.

In a category that is heavily over-traded with me-too brands, and an abundance of amazing claims to miraculous results, Trilogy is making a smart play by differentiating itself through a cause that is near and dear to most women’s hearts.

It’s refreshing to see an authentic brand that isn’t making disingenuous claims of ‘clinical tests’ to support absurd product claims that defy the very laws of nature. They’re building a very loyal and engaged fan base, just like Dove and The Body Shop have done. These brands endure because they don’t tout functional attributes but rather, they own a meaningful position of value in their customers’ minds.

Trilogy - Love advert

Advert text – left: “We haven’t retouched this image because we believe true beauty is real beauty.”

Advert text – right: “Everyone’s journey is unique. It’s where our beauty comes from. Our high performance natural skincare is designed to deliver real results, helping you achieve your most radiant complexion. Naturally. Make Trilogy part of your story.”


Read my new book, SMART MARKETING – Build a powerful brand through Need Satisfaction Marketing.

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