“A ‘Good Citizen’ marketing strategy is one of the most successful ways of building trust, before, during and especially after a problematic situation. We’ve all seen situations in the media where there’s a product recall due to a fault. How can a brand regain its credibility in this space and how will it be able to show it’s a good brand at heart? Whether it’s a knee joint or a fizzy drink, adopting the good citizen marketing strategy is how to do it.
One of the proven strategies in these cases is to redirect attention to the good work you are doing, deflecting this from the problem you have. To do this, you need to have a ‘destination’ or target to send people to. Creating a meaningful, really useful and, importantly, free consumer offering (I suggest making this digital) can start to change the public narrative going on around your brand and how consumers perceive you.
Your digital offering should focus on the good you are doing, but how can this happen alongside a difficult PR issue? Brands that act fast and invest wisely based on real insight win here. It might be a useful pocket companion, a research tool, a personal assistant or even through partnering in a clinical trial – the aim is to change how your brand is seen by making sure your good is at the forefront of people’s mind.
Don’t just build a digital anything
At a recent summit on Health and Wellness Marketing, I was on a panel looking at how to use digital to market your health wellbeing solution. The key point made was that there is no point just building a digital anything, but a lot of point in building something that really delivers value for the audience. Whether it’s a website to encourage people to have a bowel cancer test through mental health support tools to products that support you to lose weight – design, with real outcomes in mind, has a range of great outcomes: it makes consumers want the product, adds value to their experience with the product and keeps the product (and your brand) both at top of mind and in positive light.
This sector must be armed with good citizen strategies to ensure fickle and often misunderstood customer loyalty can be retained through a focus on quality consumer offering not limited to profit.
Marketers talk too often about converting our audience into advocates, but for that to happen, they must really love what brands give them, and it needs to make a real difference. While all digital products should strive for this, too often they are last minute considerations done for some advertising space, with no real intent to make it worthwhile. And if you’re trying to claw back market perception – that’s just not good enough.
Brands must personalise and be useful. Really useful.
Beyond sponsorship and clinical trials – both of which are specialist, costly and time consuming – creating a really useful little tool that carries your brand can be just the ticket to repositioning yourself in the consumer’s mind and social conversation. J&J, for instance, could create a free suite of tools, carefully designed and rewarding, focused on women’s health and wellbeing which could go a long way to change the narrative. Similarly, Coca Cola could offer information on the provenance of all the ingredients, including the packaging, to aid consumers’ journey in transparency and trust. The key words here are: really useful. A beautifully designed gimmick might get you five minutes of attention, but real traction takes longer than that.
If you’re looking to do anything in the health, wellness or wellbeing space – personalisation, a high-level behavioural support, excellent use of nudge theory and carefully applied gamification are big considerations. This makes the brand, its products and its offering to the world useful. It makes the brand mean something to the user. This makes the user your new brand ambassador.
I implore you, don’t make something that is simply good enough. Reward them with something that really works, something that they can enjoy, no matter how complex the subject matter. You’ll only win in the long run!
Jennifer Wilson, global head of health and wellbeing, Way To Blue