Over the past 2-3 yrs, I have been experimenting with Food & Alcohol a lot. This was indeed surprising to me as I did not have any experience in either, none of my friends own a bar or a restaurant and my uncle who is a chef works outside India.
I realised I could make a decent meal when I was in my teens, and having grown up in a women dominated household did have its influence. Though Kerala has the highest per capita consumption of Alcohol, it is looked down upon & more importantly a taboo. We drink to get high & that’s the only way to experience alcohol. How misinformed was I.
As I grew up the corporate ladder, I started experimenting with my taste buds. Travel does that to you I guess. So did my understanding of alcohol, the art of enjoying a drink and more importantly the range of alcohol available in the world. The experiences that I had in real life, changed my content consumption behaviour completely. The changed content consumption has led to a lot of action in my life, right from Purchase, Reaction, Creation & Advocate.
Every marketer has been talking about investing in influencers & content. Some are overdoing it, some are undergoing it and the many are scratching their head on what to. Hardly a few get it right.
Let me first tell you the changes & actions that I have taken, basis the influencers (humans, groups & books)
- I learned to sharpen a knife watching Gordon Ramsay on Youtube
- I learned to cut the onion faster watching Master Chef Australia
- I am open to eating a beef steak rare thanks to @GrillHunters on Instagram
- I bought my first Macallan because of Harvey Specter
- I am open to the idea of dressing up in a SUIT due to SUITS
- I want to try my hand at baking due to @dubaibites on Instagram
- I did my first VLOG thanks to @ModernRogue on Youtube
- I bought my first CuttySark thanks to Nelson Demille
- I started experimenting with cocktails thanks to @Bonneville Cocktail on YT & @Licencetodistill on Instagram
Now Done Tell Me Influencers & Content Don’t Work
What brands & marketers often forget is that one’s choices, desires & actions don’t change because they created couple of videos in year. It has to be consistent. It has taken me over 4 months to be open to the idea of trying out a rare Steak, and this is a cultural change all together. In that time, @GrillHunters has hit me repeatedly with videos related to meat. You need to have a discipline to reach me as many times as possible to change my perception.
I am a comfort food kinda guys while cooking. Baking is out of my scope & never have I had any interest in it. But then @dubaibites on Instagram has been consistently showing me ways & multiple things that can be baked with ease. You need to be consistently showing me newer things to change my belief.
Next time I see a whisky brand called WhistlePig in a duty free shop, I will end up buying it. A lot of drinks made by @Licencetodistill uses WhistlePig and that sets the context & integration. There is nothing forceful about it. Always look for an integration that makes sense & not a force it down the consumers throat.
Suits & Harvey Specter has impacted me as well as others. For me, it is cuz he is able to represent my aspiration. As one grows older or up the corporate ladder as well as moves across life stages, aspiration changes. We try to emulate someone(real life or fiction) when that person is a manifestation of our aspiration. Always understand what motivates or aspires your consumers and never go awry from it.
When I dug deeper, I realised that any brand who understood me well, would have been able to influence my choices beautifully. The only challenge as a consumer that I face is brands have hardly tried to understand me, and spend even less time talking to me. Everything is noise & only noise with no real depth. I will take the example of Wrangler True Wanderer, the concept which got me back to the fold of Wrangler after flirting with Levis for well over 5yrs. Wrangler never spoke to me, but True Wanderer did and that led me to the first purchase. I have not bought any other brands since.
I also had the opportunity to work with the brand team on Wrangler and I am truly amazed at the effort that the brand takes to understand the consumers. I cant get into more details, but as Trump says “BELIEVE ME, IT’s HUGE”.
The other aspect which most of the brands fail to do is draw the consumer journey from first point of awareness to action & reactions & advocacy. I understand it is a complex system now, far aware away from AIDA framework. In fact, if you put in some time, you can easily create this non-linear journey, which captures the aspiration, the media habits, the needs and throw up the possibilities that the brand will have to influence their action.
The author of this article is Rahul Vengalil – Founder & CEO at What clicks, he can be reached at email@example.com