Take off your marketing hat for minute. Put down the research study. Look away from last month’s sale figures.

You don’t need any of those numbers, reports or insights to figure out what’s going on in marketing today. Just growing up in North America for the last decade, or five, make you an expert. You just need to ask yourself some pointed questions.

When was the last time you read a flyer? When you the last time you saw, read or heard an ad in any medium, and rushed out to buy what it was selling? When was the last time you bought something that was important to you as a person, just because it was on sale? When was the last time you clipped a coupon? Or bought something just because it came with another something?

Interesting exercise, huh? Because you’re not alone, you’re not some marketing maverick who’s bucking the trend. There are tens of millions of others, across North America, nay, across the world, who would answer the same way. Sobering thought. Especially if you’re in charge of a brand’s marketing dollars.

Sure, there’ll always be get-everything-cheaper people; there’ll always be an-Android-phone-is-good-enough mindset, and there’ll always be but-what-else-will-you-give-me purchasers. But they aren’t going to build your brand, are they? You don’t need them as customers, because they won’t repeat purchase from you… unless you’re on sale, unless you’re shouting in mass media, unless you’re just breaking even on selling to them. They won’t share your brand experience with their friends. They won’t forgive your mistakes. They won’t believe in you. They just won’t. In short, these are not the droids you are looking for.

The customers you want are people just like you. They want to buy from companies that they can see something bigger in. Companies with a higher purpose. Companies with better products and services, and more consistent experiences. They want product and services from companies that are remarkable, involved, pervasive, relatable and inspiring. Those are the brands that are winning the marketing war. Those are the cult brands. So stop looking outside for intel, for validation, or for what’s right for your marketing strategy. Be mindful of your own instincts, your gut, your own justification. Because, chances are, you’re right.

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