Over the last five years, we have talked a lot about what it means to be human and how, with the proliferation and mind-blowing capabilities that technology affords, we must aim as brands and businesses to remain truly connected.
We are now becoming more open about mental health than ever before, as more stories and candid conversations from leading public figures are laid bare. Opening up these deep complexities reminds us that as we become more wired in to the world around us, ironically, we are becoming increasingly disconnected.
This again reminds us that for all the incredible advances we have made in communications, humans need genuine and authentic interaction to respond and engage with your brand.
Last week I was taken back by a brilliant marketing approach, which I wanted to share here, as it is exactly what I understand to be a perfect example of brands behaving responsibly and with humanity.
Fortnum & Mason sent out a standard seasonal email for Father’s Day, showcasing their rather delightful food and indulgent gifts you could buy for your dad. Standard for all major retailers at this time.
The difference was that it also asked me if I wished to opt out of Father’s Day emails specifically. While some customers simply may not wish to receive updates, here was a brand that was mindful of those who perhaps find the day a sad reminder of someone they have lost, or that the subject of Father’s Day is irrelevant. The same I imagine would apply to Mother’s Day.
This resonated as I lost my dad to cancer eight years ago, and even though I am a parent now and Father’s Day is important for my own children, it is still painful for me to see those words and remember what it was like to have that parent in my life. I know a friend of mine used to feel the same about Mother’s Day. It was a happy day for her, but she was always reminded of her own mum who she tragically lost a few years earlier.
Marketing can be – and must strive to be human, these simple gestures that speak to our emotional DNA can be powerful and ultimately build brand loyalty.
I wouldn’t say that I am a regular Fortnums shopper (apart from making any excuse to purchase one of their decadent Christmas hampers) but I am a fan – now an even bigger one – as they have shown that this human approach to opting out will ensure that more of their customers stay with them in the long term.