When it comes to deciding what to buy or where to go, the decision typically comes down to one factor: how much the consumer trusts your brand. Not price. Not a flashy website. Not that ad. Well, maybe sometimes. But, ultimately, it comes down to trust, created when brands help people over the phone, online or via quality, useful content.
That’s the premise of blogger Jay Baer’s recently released book, “Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help Not Hype.” As Baer says, “Sell something, and you make a customer. Help someone, and you make a customer for life.”
The latest brand to capitalize on this philosophy is Kleenex, which has launched the achoo by Kleenex cold and flu predictor – the first tool to predict when the cold and flu will reach your area. Simply enter your zip code to receive a three-week cold and flu forecast, generated using Centers for Disease Control data and a proprietary algorithm. According to a Fast Company article, Kleenex brand manager Anna Elledge says the prediction tool has been 90 percent accurate in preliminary tests.
Once they know when to expect the germs to arrive, users can access tips on preventing the illnesses as well as caring for themselves and their family when someone gets sick. The site doesn’t push tissues; rather, a subtle “Buy Kleenex” button lives at the bottom of the homepage. Instead, the focus is to help consumers prepare for germ season and, ideally, stock up on the popular tissue brand before they get sick.
A complementing TV campaign reinforces this message by showing the lows people must resort to when they don’t have Kleenex, like sneezing into their hands and then wiping them on the poor family dog.
The takeaway: Make useful content your priority, and use advertising, social media and promotions as vehicles to distribute it.