The IMC Marketing Gets Naked conference last week offered some interesting insights into marketing, including advice, case studies and trends.
One of the best audience receptions was gifted to Thabo ‘Tbo Touch’ Molefe, who spoke about creating brands in a competitive space.
He referred to two of his offerings, TouchWarwick wine, and his new 48 Gin as examples of how a new business can thrive, even in a cluttered industry.
“I’m a firm believer of creating products that make people feel good, more than just enjoying how they taste or look… When you speak to people’s values, your brand is not durational, because it will thrive beyond what people say about you and what people believe you to be,” he began.
Touch touted the difference between traditional media and the digital world, and firmly believes the latter offers more guarantees and certainty for marketing.
“There is no good product and there is no powerful brand… The brand’s that are powerful are people. People make brands powerful, brands aren’t powerful unless people make them powerful”.
“On a traditional platform, I used to sit with clients and sell them speculations. And I’m good at selling speculations, something you can’t even quantify. Now with the rise of digital, where brands can get their own analytics and understand how their product is performing, what conversations people have with their products, the 30-second ad is not as powerful today as it used to be.”
He added that a 45-second video ad on any traditional media platform is not as powerful as the conversations people have in the moment on social media.
“If you think I’m wrong, Donald Trump wouldn’t be president today. The Democrats spent twice the budget of the Republicans on traditional media,” he said.
Three years ago, Touch created TouchWarwick wine, a single bottle of which sold at auction for R1.3 million. The key lesson Touch took away from this experience was: “The success of any marketer out there is generally not in what you say about your product, but purely on the story you tell. The story of TouchWarwick was so intriguing, you couldn’t help but indulge.”
Complacency can ruin a big brand. Touch elaborated: “If we rely on being the goliath of an industry, and saying ‘we are a big brand’ and never want to go and innovate, there’s an emerging group of better thinkers who are going to come up with products that are going to shake these big institutions and cause people to start being in touch with grassroots.”
A genuine connection with consumers
A powerful statement that resonated with the audience, was, “There is no good product and there is no powerful brand… The brand’s that are powerful are people. People make brands powerful, brands aren’t powerful unless people make them powerful”.
He urged marketers to not make the mistake of marketing to an audience where there is a massive disconnect. “The market is smart. People know how we live and can see through the lines. They can see through the marketing campaign drafted in Stellenbosch for a market in Vilakazi Street and they don’t relate! We need copywriters who understand culture. We have a group of people designing campaigns for people who they’ve never had an engagement with!”
The simple way to get around this, is to make consumers part of the creation process.
As he said, “I create products where people are part of the creation … There was a story before we packaged the gin. I was involving my audience. Those who are consuming this product are ambassadors of this product, because they were part of the creation. The reason why 48 Gin in three months is an 18 000 bottle selling business, without a billboard or a TV ad, is because the people who are consuming it, are part of its story.”
Follow Michael Bratt on Twitter @MichaelBratt8
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