Marketing Communications|Social Media

Three-way conversation: Brands, consumers, and potential consumers

three way conversation brands consumers

It was 2009 when I came across CNN iReport asking people to ‘tell their stories and discuss the issues that are important to them’. This was the first time I was introduced to the concept of a brand prompting its users to create content for them. Whether the brand would use the content and how they would use it, however, was completely up to them. But, there I was, ready to share my perspective in form of pictures and stories.

From a one-way conversation to a two-way conversation

We’ve come a long way from a non-interactive one-way communication approach adopted by brands to connect with their audiences. It’s been a heavy shift to make – from brands dictating trends through traditional platforms like press releases and print advertisements – all the way to brands encouraging customers to create content that they can leverage for their own brand authenticity.

This significant shift from brands creating an unattainable ‘aspirational imagery’ to be more approachable has everything to do with how important it is to have substantial customer conversations today. Better yet, brands need a purpose and a consumer-focused strategy to fix an identified issue – whatever that may be. How is this being achieved? With the help of User-Generated Content. Once brands started moving towards a two-way communication strategy with their customers, the quality of customer lifecycle and loyalty to the brand has been given way more emphasis.

It’s all about consumer behaviour. Brands don’t spend thousands of dollars or even millions just to get that one transaction. Today, brands focus on the customer’s post-purchase journey.

Three-way conversation between brands, consumers, and potential consumers

Having spent the last few years monitoring the world of marketing, a three-way conversation is on the rise. Its been proven that two-way conversations are a fantastic way to engage with customers since it results in ‘highly personable and almost natural interactions’ with the brand. Now, brands are beginning to use this conversational approach integrated with UGC to further attract potential customers.

A brand that instantly comes to mind is Rihanna’s Fenty that launched a couple months after Kim Kardashian brands made headlines in 2017. Note that Fenty Beauty is currently on all social media giants: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

 

 

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Simply put, Fenty Beauty’s use of UGC projects authenticity and has led a to higher engagement rate when compared to its tough competitors. Not only is its content strategy on point with a clear message that resonates with a lot of people – a cosmetic line for ‘any culture, any skin tone, any race, any religion, anybody can wear it’ – its strategic use of UGC (with a super glam exclusive hashtag #rihgram) gives new life to the brand’s overarching message. No wonder, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty has earned even more attention on social media than giants like Kylie Cosmetics and Kim Kardashian’s KKW Beauty. Leveraging fan-made content – essentially word-of-mouth in this day and age – and strategically customizing it with the knowledge of content strategy, brands can reach their full potential to not only establish loyalty in customers, but also reach new customers.

It takes customers a few minutes to give feedback on products they use, and brands are recognizing this. Chief marketing officer at Foreo, a company that makes beauty devices adds that “brands now build a following based on reviews and comments”. In fact, recent research reveals that customers who engage with UGC are more than twice as likely to make a purchase than their peers.

It’s not just cosmetic brands, a major reason for the fast expansion of K-pop’s fandom is because of how Korean agencies have repurposed fan-made content like compilation videos, vlogs, fancams and reactions to create a sense of anticipation, competition and needless to say, engagement among its fans. Today, how brands want customers to engage with them is changing. Brands of all sizes are experimenting with the way they want to create and use three-way conversations by integrating it with their marketing campaigns – all to reach their potential stakeholders.

Travels

The Great Australian Road Trip

australian road trip

To celebrate my graduation, we decided to travel across Australia.

What better way to do that if not by road? For a second we considered taking a RV but looking back I’m glad we got cozy hotel beds to sleep in on our 12-day Great Australian Road Trip.

After touring around the city for two days, we crossed off the Yarra river cruise (an informative and interesting cruise), Queen Victoria night market (Wednesdays nights during Winters) and The Melbourne Star from our touristy checklist.

I recommend these fabulous spots to everyone coming to this city especially because you get to see the beauty of the city and taste food from around the would.

Since this was my dad’s first visit to Melbourne, I took him to my favourite place – Southbank which is a tiny walk away from Flinders station. Lined with amazing bars and restaurants along its bank, the Yarra river looks mesmerizing at any given time. Since my graduation was at the Royal Exhibition Hall, dad also got to see this World Heritage Site-listed building that also happens to be one of the world’s oldest remaining exhibition pavilion. Being a unimelb student, we’ve given our final exams here – several times in the last two years.


  • melbourne

If you’re curious about our trip, read on to find out the places we covered and the highlights of each destination.

Day 1: Melbourne to Warrnambool

Via The Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles

Distance covered: 344 km

Highlights: We started the day in no hurry but by the time we had our stop overs at Geelong and Lorne, it was clear we needed to rush to see the 12 Apostles if we wanted to see them in their glory while the sun was still out.

Although it says that this famous attraction closes at 5 PM online (which is exactly when we reached), we (thankfully) found a lot of tourists still taking pictures and hanging out. The highlight of this trip was catching the 12 Apostles view at sunset. It was absolutely gorgeous. Although this was my second visit to the Apostles, you can never truly get enough of the view.

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Opinion

15 Tips For Future Students: The University of Melbourne

university of melbourne top tips

To be completely honest, I didn’t think it would be as hard as it was. I knew it was going to be an adventure but not as crazy and unpredictable as it turned out.

I left my amazing life in Delhi to pursue my dream to study masters abroad. By the time I was applying for a master’s degree in Hong Kong and Australia, the want to finally get the higher studies box ticked off was too much to handle – even for me. My boss, my manager, my close family were all questioning it. But in my mind, it had turned into something that just had to be done. I had loved working as a communications manager and I was now ready to, in fear of sounding cliché, expand my knowledge.

Some of the regular readers know I almost quit college after my first semester. It definitely wasn’t easy, and so, to help future students out – I thought a list of tips would be helpful for future students at the University of Melbourne.

If you are someone looking to join the University of Melbourne, here are my top 15 tips: (more…)