I just discovered an incredible book Can't Buy Me Like by Bob Garfield and Doug Levy and I would definitely recommend it to anyone thinking about building their brand. Bob and Doug both contend that we are now in the "Relationship Era" of marketing whereby creating authentic and real relationships based on trust is the only sustainable way for businesses to have long term success. I agree with them. If you notice nowadays we as consumers are getting saturated with commercials and instead of connecting with them we either ignore them or use that opportunity to focus on tasks we deem as more important. Even the commercials that stick with us don't stick with us for the right reasons. We remember them for their one liners whether it is KFC's "I ate the bones?!" or Old Spice's "Hello Ladies!".
We do the same thing to billboards we drive by or internet banner ads yet majority of companies continue to spend money on marketing this way. That is a lot of money being spent on advertising and marketing for so little return.
Brands need to seek to build a rapport with their audience and gain their trust. That is the only way you can get consumers to actively seek you out. Amazon does this by giving its consumers a chance to voice their opinions whether it is through reviews or allowing them to create their wish lists. Amazon also offers recommendations to consumers based on past purchases. They involve their consumers every step of the way and sure enough Amazon has risen to become one of the top companies in the world. How many Amazon commercials have you seen on TV? Chances are very few if any.