For any marketer or brand who has ever thought, “Nobody is going to care about our boring company,” we have news for you. A seemingly “boring” brand can still create interesting and engaging content with a bit of confidence and creativity. The secret is discovering what about your brand or company is interesting. If you had nothing interesting about your company at all, you wouldn’t be in business.
To help you dig into the unique aspects of your brand, we have pulled together some "boring" brands that are putting out compelling content on a regular basis.
As any adult will attest, insurance is boring. Nobody really wants to think about premiums, accidents or anything else associated with the necessary evil of insurance. We all need insurance, though, which makes for a highly competitive market. The way that Progressive has decided to set themselves apart is with a lovable, and wildly popular mascot, Flo.
On the surface, the enthusiastic redhead may not stand out as brilliant marketing, but it’s the way Progressive has used the Flo character in advertising and social media that has created a devoted following. The Flo character, all on her own, has amassed 5.2 million Facebook fans and over 20,000 followers on Twitter.
What Progressive has done so well with the Flo character is to make her multi-dimensional. She isn’t just a bobble-head mascot spouting off lower insurance quotes. She has a likeable and intriguing personality that is portrayed across a variety of media. Because of the persona Progressive has created for Flo, she has a seemingly endless amount of content to share. This ranges from “Flo’s Tunes” on Facebook— a streaming playlist of the character’s supposed favorite music—to “Flotobombs,” which show the character popping in on different photos.
The main appeal of Flo is she gives a human face to a faceless corporation, giving consumers something to interact with. You can’t converse with a brand, but you can interact with a "real" person.
Is there anything exciting about a marker? On the surface, maybe not, but what Sharpie has tapped into is that, while the marker itself may be "boring," the possibilities that marker holds are endless. The examples of that potential are continually streaming on all of Sharpie’s social networks.
Sharpie has been able to harness user-created content unlike any other brand out there. Cruise the brand’s Instagram account for hundreds of examples of followers subscribing to Sharpie’s tagline, “Grab a Sharpie & Start Something.” Followers have responded with scribbled drawings on just about everything imaginable.
Harnessing user’s passion for your product is far from boring. Not only does it supply you with a continual stream of vibrant content, it also directly engages followers and fans in a way no other content can. There’s nothing more engaging to a social media follower than seeing their own creations on your timeline.
Discount razor dealer Dollar Shave Club has broken into a saturated market with a unique business model, but more importantly with a creative marketing campaign. The key to Dollar Shave Club’s success is truly understanding what its target audience, younger adult men, are interested in.
The company's online web videos feature Dollar Shave Club's founder, Michael Dubin, spouting off such phrases as “our blades are f---ing great.” And who doesn’t love a well placed f-bomb? In a world before YouTube and social media, it would be nearly impossible for a company like Dollar Shave Club to break into a market where the top earners spend millions to advertise during major sporting events. With the creative campaigns, this five person company has quickly made a name for itself.
In addition to exceptional video ads, Dollar Shave Club is experimenting with other unconventional marketing techniques like their beardvertising campaign. Beardvertising, the brain child of Real Native Advertising, involves hiring real folks with an abundance of facial hair to wear “beardboards” with advertisers' messaging printed on them. Hired beardvertisers then document their activity on social networks with the hashtag #beardvertising, spreading the advertisers' message organically among their own social networks. Any time your brand can engage users directly will result in exceptional results.