Humanising Brands in Ireland: ‘Sure, it’s in our nature’

Written by Roseanne Regan

A recent blog post from Vehr Communications, one of our global IPREX partners, referenced Ireland as somewhere that does “connective marketing” very well. Our response was “wait, what? …We do?”

Interestingly it was the same reaction I had at an event we were running for a client last year. I was approached by one of the ticket competition winners, who happened to work in marketing for a global telecoms company.

“Wow you guys have really nailed this ‘experiential and emotive marketing,’ we’ve been trying to crack that for ages,” she said. And my response, “wait, what? …We did?”

The event in question was a mindfulness seminar we organised for our client as part of our overall PR campaign, which was based on mindful meditation.

Our client is a family food brand and rather than communicate the health benefits of the product to consumers we wanted to communicate that they cared about the overall wellbeing of their customers because they genuinely do.

We created the campaign to encourage customers to #MindYourself. At one stage of this we even had key media in the client’s family home practicing mindfulness.

If we could measure the warm and fuzzy feeling on the media bus home that evening or that of the brand’s social media followers throughout the campaign, I am pretty sure it would answer my earlier question. Do we practice connective marketing in Ireland? Yes, yes we do.

This tells you two things about Ireland (and me!). Firstly, we find it difficult to take a compliment and often question it! And secondly, call it what you will – humanising your brand, practising connective or emotive communications – for many Irish PR professionals, it is simply ‘in our nature,’ as my mother would say.

‘Connective marketing’ may be the current buzzword internationally but here we’ve always strived to humanise brands. Our culture revolves around community and connection. It’s naturally embedded into the way we think and communicate – and we have come to expect it from brand communications.

Take Lidl and Aldi, for example, they adapted to the need to humanise their brands in order to win over Irish customers – and they did just that.

Now, technology is advancing and allowing us to be innovative in the way we create and build these emotional connections. Social media itself is taking a turn towards the more ‘human’ and ‘real life,’ with Snapchat and Facebook Live becoming increasingly popular. It’s an exciting time for Irish PR professionals; technology is empowering us to widen our Cead Míle Failtes into Cead Míle Failtes HD!

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