Here’s a video which is worth watching. This is an amazing sales video where you do not see the product until the very end. By that time, I want one.
It helps that the product is a fantastic camera which is tiny and can be used in so many incredible situations. But the interesting thing is that the whole piece is about benefits, not features.
Do you know or care about the specific technicalities of the camera by the time you’ve seen this? Even price is not your first consideration. It has created desire more powerfully than any advertising – a real tribute to the value of branded video content.
Brands make you feel good: shock, horror
This is a great example of how powerful the brand experience can be in this medium. A recent piece of research has shown that experiences with brands can make some people perceive themselves in a more positive light, but they found that it does not work with everyone.
The research identified two groups of people:
“Individuals who endorse incremental theory (“incremental theorists”) view their personal qualities as malleable, which they can improve through their own efforts.”
“In contrast,are individuals who endorse entity theory (“entity theorists”) believe that their personal qualities are fixed, which they cannot improve through their own direct efforts.”
Which group do you think will be most affected by brand marketing? I can tell you I was wrong when I guessed.
It turns out entity theorists are the ones most affected by brand experiences, because they seek out opportunities to signal their positive qualities to the self or others. They believe their worth is fixed, but they want to ensure everyone else knows what it is.
Incremental theorists, on the other hand, attempt to self-enhance by seeking out opportunities for learning, self-improvement, and growth.
Who is which?
What does that mean for those of us trying to project a brand experience?
I’m not sure – unless you know if your audience has a preponderance of incremental or entity theorists.
For example, if you are pitching high level B2B services, it may be that many of those you are engaging are entity theorists – i.e. have a pretty clear idea of their own qualities. In this case, giving them a dynamic brand experience – signaling to others their value – could be very important.
For us, this drives the way in which video content is planned and produced.
Are we seeking to educate or make the audience feel great about the choice?
Sometimes the brief is driven by what the client thinks is important (‘I want a video which will excite people about our servers’) rather than what any research might reveal – hard headed education is needed because the incrementalists are trying to improve themselves, and we’re going to help.
Back to GoPro.
A high level analysis will reveal that the video does both – gets me excited, shows off the brand, but also shows me what the camera can do. That’s the thing to try to achieve – brand experience and education at the same time. And I can imagine that I’m one of those surfers riding that wave….
We recently wrote a post on using customer personas that you may find interesting.
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