Are you misleading with intention?
A recent article in the Globe and Mail by Nathalie Atkinson questioned our culture’s new use of the word “intentional.” She shone a spotlight on how marketers are using it to emphasize the impact of their products and services on people’s mindfulness, productivity and wellbeing. The desire is certainly there, as most of us are desperate for a bit of balance while our society seeks to cope with complete overwhelm. In fact, more than half of Canadians report “overload” associated with their many roles, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association. What happens if what you’re selling doesn’t truly make your consumer more mindful or productive? Could it be possible that you are unintentionally adding excess baggage to our already-overburdened minds?
In other news, consumer values are shifting towards diversity, authenticity and connection, according to the latest trend report from Facebook IQ. But what if consumers are authentically overwhelmed with just one more thing to be intentional about?
So this issue is about intention and attention. How can you strike a balance between building an emotional connection with your consumers, without adding to intention overload?
Read on for some ideas and insight.
Wellbeing from around the web
“In the cult of productivity where every moment (and product) must count, intentional purchases feed into the compulsive need to get stuff done,” reads the description of this article from the Globe and Mail. Consumers don’t need any more pushes to feel more productive or anxious.
The takeaway: As this article outlines, the true meaning of the word “intentional” is “done on purpose; deliberate”. When you market your brand as intentional, you’re taking away from the true meaning of the word. Encourage your consumers to shop with intention, to make smart purchases that work for their lifestyles and fit within their budgets, but don’t market your brand as lending intention to your consumers. That’s something they can only do for themselves.
The latest trend report from Facebook IQ is full of interesting insights based on original research and social media analysis. It forecasts how people will “connect, create and consume in the next few years,” and gives a good overview of how values are shifting.
The takeaway: While we encourage marketers to keep up to date on culture and trends, as the report says, adapting to trends is only an opportunity if you approach them authentically. “People haven’t run out of attention,” says the report. “They just need a good reason to spend it on you.” Don’t greenwash, wellwash or wokewash. Do the work to bring your brand up to speed and you’ll be worthy of your consumers’ attention.
Your authenticity during the Russian invasion on Ukraine
It’s hard to know what to say in person and online during upsetting and distressing times. Marketers have muddled their way through the pandemic, trying to find a balance between selling and support, and now we have a new crisis to navigate. It’s heartbreaking, scary and difficult to deal with on a personal level, let alone figuring out a corporate strategy.
We’ve compiled some resources that can help.
A guide for social-media managers in tough times
This newsletter from the Globe and Mail has some excellent advice, including the following: “There are often times when simplicity is best. An authentic, human approach is likely the better route, rather than something overwrought and heavily branded.”
There are also tips for what to do if you make a mistake and how to plan for future blunders.
How the marketing industry is responding to the Ukraine war
This live article on Ad Age is an ongoing feed of the marketing decisions being made by major brands like CCM, Ford, Disney and Airbnb.
How to spot fake or misleading footage on social media claiming to be from the war in Ukraine
Finally, this piece by PBS outlines how to spot fake news. In the age of social media, it’s easy to click “share” to amplify a message with which you agree. And with issues that feel outside your expertise, sharing other people’s content can seem like the right thing to do. But before amplifying a message, make sure it’s accurate and won’t reflect poorly on your brand.
We are saddened by the attacks on Ukraine and stand in solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine. This month, we will be donating to the Canadian Red Cross, which is providing emergency assistance on the ground in Ukraine.
Share MarketWell with fellow wellbeing marketers and we’ll make a donation to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).
As the nationwide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health. The work they are doing is even more important now, than ever.
To your wellbeing,
Founder and President
Felicity [Inspiring Communications]