R: Who are you trying to REACH?
Seeing these contestants in their “natural” environment (eg. garage, patio, backyard, living room, or bedroom), surrounded by familiar household items (eg. photos, decorations, recliners, bookshelves) made them more human. There is no doubt some level of production and staging (eg. multiple cameras for different perspectives, specific placement of lights) but seeing the typical clutter you see around your own home, made these artists relatable.
UPDATED: As of Episode 16 (ie. the Grand Finale featuring the top 5), Lowe's got in on the action and provided the various furnishings and decorations for the contestants' at-home backdrop and stage. They even supplied the manpower to help with the setup. “Each of the contestants put their DIY skills into action and expressed their individual styles with the help of Lowe’s products in easy, affordable ways.” said Marisa Thalberg, Lowe’s executive vice president, chief brand and marketing officer. That's a timely marketing strategy taken by Lowe's as a home improvement store.
And instead of an audience of mostly strangers, their family and friends are in the same room with them. Franklin Boone’s daughter was holding a “Go Daddy” sign with mom. Olivia Ximines’ family was watching from the kitchen and rushed in for a hug after her song. DeWayne Crocker Jr’s nieces and nephews were dancing as their uncle sang “I Feel Good” by James Brown. All these are “beautiful to watch”, commented Luke Bryan.
Do you see your customers as people or just financial transactions in your books? Can your customers (which should also include your employees) relate to you as a person or is your company just a paycheck or an email address? Find the opportunity to reveal a little about your personal life (where appropriate) via a video message communicating actions your company is taking during COVID-19. Put a face to the name of your spouse and/or kids when your staff and you are having a video conference.
"Making of an Idol B.R.A.N.D." is part of a series of blog posts titled B.R.A.N.D. Freeze. I hope to 'freeze' a moment in time and discuss valuable insights into branding.
Check out Part 1 or continue with Part 3.
Season 18 of American Idol recorded its first public performance in Hawaii back in January when ABC was selecting the top 20 for the “live” show. With COVID-19 keeping people at home and throwing the production plan out the window, the network has to improvise because, in this business, the show must go on.
There is much to learn about branding during this virtual production and Lionel Richie, one of the three judges, said it the best. With the absence of the “glitter and glamor” of production, he pointed out that the contestants have to “bring your light to the table - your personality. Not only the voice but everything else that comes along with it.“
When Coronavirus shuts the door to your business or makes your offering much less accessible to your customers, what are you doing to “bring your light to the table”?
B: What are you in the BUSINESS of selling?
A ‘live’ show with professional production can indeed shine a good light on a singer. Stripped of all that, the 20 contestants are now challenged to showcase their voices differently.
While ABC provided some lighting, audio equipment, and access to a band and backup vocalists, all the contestants had to create their own stage and backdrop. “There is no ambiance. There is no reverb. You just got texture galore in your voice,” Katy Perry told Jovin Webb during his ‘live’ show in his garage.
Like these singers, your challenge is to showcase the value behind your offering. The contestants are not in the business of selling their voices. They are in the business of selling an emotional journey through their voices. The mattress store owner is not in the business of selling mattresses. He/she is in the business of selling a good night's sleep. What are you selling as the value behind the solution to your customers’ problem?
This series of blog posts titled B.R.A.N.D. Freeze aim to highlight brands and discuss what they are doing to become memorable. I hope that by 'freezing' a moment in time, we can learn valuable insights into branding. Continue with "Making of an Idol B.R.A.N.D." Part 2.