A marketing strategy can be the make or break point for brands. As a tool, it can shape thinking patterns, create desires, and fulfill wishes. But it doesn’t yield easily to everyone. Ask marketing expert Gustavo Tello, and he will tell you that “to get people to talk about your brand is not for the simple-minded or the faint of heart. It requires genuine curiosity, a willingness to shed one’s acquired ignorance, and the willingness to think outside the box.” Anyone who has ever touched marketing with a ten-foot pole knows that it’s not easy. For 39-year-old Tello, however, there are ways to make it succeed.
Tello is a great proponent of silence. Although his business (he’s the owner of US-based The Lightning Studio) thrives on its opposite, he swears by it. He gives efficient reasoning for this contradiction, “When you want your brand to be talked about, listen to what your consumers are saying without bias and with precision.” The key to giving people what they find interesting is “to find out what they find interesting first. Give it to them, and they’ll talk about it.” His impeccable logic makes a lot of sense when you think of “all the merchandise that goes hand-in-hand with successful films, for example, the Toy Story and Harry Potter franchises, do well because they are directly connected to what people like.”
He encourages his clients to learn how to talk to customers, especially when registering complaints. He believes that “brands whose representatives conduct themselves in a warm, pleasing, and knowledgeable manner can make a very direct impact on the heart of the consumer. A well-spoken customer care personnel or an intuitive on-point salesperson can make customers gush about a brand’s work ethic and focus on relationships on social media.” Such responses can, he says, “get your brand talked about in a way that can’t be bought with money.”
People tend to respond positively to products they can connect with, or better still, something that makes them feel like a part of a story, a movement. And advertising has certainly done that. Tello says, “Brands like Dove, Coca-Cola, Apple, and many more succeeded not only because of their ingenious products but also because they made people feel part of a story – of fun, nostalgia, and friendship. A good brand is a reflection of life – the one story we all participate in.”
A responsible brand is often a well-respected brand. But the question is – what makes a brand responsible? The answer, according to Tello, is, “The problem that your brand claims to solve or the value it aims to add in an already existing solution.” He believes it’s imperative for brands to “spell out their proposition as clearly as they can. A cool tagline that doesn’t say anything can only get you so far. But a well thought out proposition can enter the minds of the customers and eventually their conversations too.”
As a marketing expert, Tello is a man of the times. But as an expert on interpersonal drives, he’s rooted in the fundamentals. He firmly believes that honest excitement, thrill, and joy will always hold more water over flash-in-the-pan strategies. Although the game may appear different with social media, its rules, he says, “remain the same.”