Content marketing. You’ve heard about it. And you may even think it’s become a buzz word. If your brand isn’t figuring out how to leverage quality content that makes your audience feel something, then you’re likely failing. And while attributing direct sales to this type of marketing has proven itself very challenging at times, the reality is that there are brands willing to invest, either because their brand is owning the market (looking at you, Coca Cola) or because at the end of the day, stories are their chosen form of content. And if you haven’t heard, audiences are getting smarter and making consumer-based decisions aligned to the content that they prefer to consume.
But as our content channels get busier and busier, we continue to consume more content by the day and it’s gets harder to stand out amongst the crowd. The secret sauce? Well, in my opinion, that belongs to brands that truly give a shit.
What does it mean for a brand to give a shit? A few examples include:
- The brand invests in the story, not just the sales pitch.
- The brand builds strategies that think about the market’s thoughts, opinions, and feelings.
- The brand takes calculated risks.
- The brand does good things that matter.
- The brand makes someone’s dreams come true.
When brands give a shit, my eyes shift in their direction. And I tend to believe the market does the same. And in this instance, the brand is REI. They partnered up with Duct Tape Then Beer, a group of creatives and strategists that create amazing brand content. (their resume is quite impressive, with work alongside brands like Patagonia, Arc’teryx, and Outdoor Research.)
A man named Paul had a dream to hike the Appalachian Trail. Unfortunately, due to some heart problems, he passed away in 2015. His wife wanted to give her deceased husband one final gift; the chance to see his hiking boots make the journey that he was never able to make. So she and REI asked the hiking community to help out. In this documentary, you follow a journey of 2,190 miles, 14 states, and 5 national parks with Paul’s boots along every step of the way.
When’s the last time you saw something that showed a brand giving a shit? Send your favorite content via email or by tagging me on your social channel of choice.