I had the pleasure of working with a great new company, Attend, LLC that is supporting the film industry. In doing so, we had the opportunity of listening to the opinions and perspectives of the filmmakers at Dogfish Accelerator. There is nothing more engaging than a group of amazingly creative and smart, young filmmakers helping define a brand. There is so much raw talent in the room that it overwhelms and inspires you in the same moment.
At RenderTribe, as a digital media content company, we are often working on developing engaging content. It was refreshing to see the parallels between Dogfish’s world of film making, and the marketing world. There is little difference between the inspiration and creative genius that marketers are working to expose and the true creative personal storytelling that is going on in the film industry today. Transparency and genuine intention is key to connecting to all audiences with authenticity. Anything overtly targeting a personal gain is “visible” and disdained. There is a perception in the world of film making that the truly great ideas – new concepts that often spawn copycats – are the ones that grab you and make you feel. There is no difference in digital marketing today; the good ones cut through the clutter with “real” while others get lost in a sea of sameness or copycatting.
When you fake it, or try to convince your digital tribe that you have “what they want” today, you are dead in the water. The sophistication and pathways to the truth on the web are so easy to access that any “marketing trick” or perception management tactic is met with disdain and negative backlash. A brand can easily fall prey to enticing shortcuts, but the risk is being seen for a fake or giving a halfhearted attempt at “saying the right thing.” Today, the right thing for your brand – and your company, is “why” you believe what you do. If you do not drink your own Kool-Aid and wholeheartedly believe you are making a compelling contribution to the greater community, then you are not going to sell anything to anyone.
Don’t believe in why you started your company? Then expect to sell jack shit.
As I learned from the filmmakers at Dogfish and my Jesuit High School English teacher, there is nothing like the raw unfiltered truth. Bad or good, it creates impact that is lasting. It can change a perspective and build a tribe of customers that buy because they share the same core belief. It is definitely not because you said the right thing at the right time and “marketed” your way into their world. You took a risk and got real and your customers rewarded you by buying your product or service. There is no faking real, and you cannot buy “give a shit.” So if you are crafting a marketing message or building a brand, you must always build it from a genuine place that demands passion and honest reasoning. If you are building a brand or company just because you can sell something to someone whom you know needs it, good luck my friend, see you in the company graveyard. For all the lasting brands out there- it always comes back to the “why,” not the “what.”