Joy for Soy and Other Stories of Listening

March 15th, 2010

Kit Kat is the #1 candy bar in Japan thanks to flavors like miso, green tea, sweet potato, blueberry, and yes – soy sauce.  A soy sauce Kit Kat sounds less than appetizing to most of us around the office here at Braithwaite, but Nestle, who makes Kit Kats, is too busy counting its yen to care.

The point is clear – know your audience and what they want.

Right now, we’re working on re-branding a company that does insurance for classic cars.  We’ve been talking about campaigns that involve custom baseball cards showcasing the cars, an iPhone app, and beautiful women.  We could guess which item we should invest thousands in, or we could just ask.  So we’re asking.

Branding isn’t the only place where you need to know your audience in order to turn them onto what you’re selling.  The same can be true of employee engagement.  If you are working with a large manufacturing workforce in rural Pennsylvania, you should communicate with them in their dialect and jargon.  If you are laying off employees in Germany, think about getting each worker a case of the local beer along with their transition packet.

Today, there are a number of tools for those willing to ask.  Online surveys, social media monitoring, and good old fashioned phone calls will give you a sense of what your audiences want.  They’ll even go so far to give you direction in terms of tone, reputation, relevance, and other soft measures of effectiveness.

Soy sauce Kit Kats may sound disgusting to you, but you are not selling to yourself.  Ask for and listen to what makes your customers or employees happy, and all your communications will be much sweeter.

Posted Under: Branding
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