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Affinity + Authenticity = “Likeonomics”

May 14, 2011

I learned early in my marketing career about the power and importance of authenticity.  I entered Reebok to help the new president of Global Sports develop strategy and plans for increasing the Brand’s sphere of influence from Fitness to also include hard-core sports/athletics.  Without ‘cred’ among hard-core athletes, we would have a serious up-hill climb to win quality market share.  While the anatomy of the strategy/planning we successfully executed is a story for a different day, suffice to say at its heart was the goal to establish authenticity in each and every global market we would enter.

Similarly, a couple of years later I would simultaneously learn and experience the importance of establishing affinity and trust with each and every individual we encountered in our new start-up, RealAge.  You see, RealAge offered a survey that would help you understand how old or young your body was (compared to your calendar age) based on your lifestyle choices.   Because we were permission marketing pioneers, there were no books or manuals to which we could refer.  Instead, we used common sense and common courtesy to help define policies and procedures that guided the art and science we deployed to earn the right to market back (via permission email) to our survey-participants.

I wanted to share this contextual backdrop as support for why I was so moved when I read this a short while ago, for it spoke to the very core of what I believe as a Marketing and Sales Executive.  Some excerpts:

Public relations and marketing professionals have dug themselves into a hole. With the overwhelming amount of PR spin and marketing messages flying at consumers on a daily basis, individuals are constantly on guard, trying to spot the underlying motives behind each claim, motto, message or deal that brands introduce. Many times the assumption by consumers is that marketing messages are motivated by greedy or deceptive intentions.

“Affinity has become the new secret weapon — we believe in people and companies that we like,” said Bhargava. For those in the public relations and marketing industries, it is important to gain back the trust they’ve lost from consumers by understanding what makes people, ideas and organizations more believable.

Bhargava spoke about what he calls Likeonomics, which “explains the new affinity economy where the most likeable people, ideas and organizations are the ones we believe in, buy from and get inspired by.”

What makes a person or organization believable, then? Bhargava said that Likeonomics is based on being simple, human, brutally honest and emotional.

Click to learn more about being 1) simple, 2) human, 3) honest and 4) emotional in your Marketing and Sales communications.  This piece lays it all out there and also provides great real-life examples from companies you know.

As part of any new-G2M plan, a clear, concise message map will become the magnetic north of all Marketing and Sales deliverables.   When guided by the tenets outlined in this piece, you are assured to connect if you have done your homework and executed in the spirit it is suggesting.

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