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    How People-First-Marketing Builds Brands

    What Nike, Red Bull & Redemption Whiskey Have in Common

    “The second I left the lip, I knew I was breaking bones. I knew my life would change forever.  It was just a matter of which bones do I break,” said Grant Korgan as he recounted the memory of his snowmobile accident that broke his back and stole his ability to walk.

    This tragic story told in a bar in Hollywood features Grant and his lovely wife Shawna, as the two relive their journey over the last 9 years, discussing Grant’s career as an extreme athlete, their beautiful wedding in Yosemite, their tragic accident and their eventual triumph to becoming 15-time award winning filmmakers.

    Everybody loves a comeback – the farther the fall, the greater the rise.  It’s a familiar story called the hero’s journey. It makes up the vast majority of Hollywood scripts and it’s one that Redemption Whiskey has intelligently connected with to add value to their brand and customers’ lives.

    Grant’s incredible comeback is part of Redemption Whiskey’s video series entitled Redemption Sessions produced by Socialtyze and run on YouTube, IGTV and Facebook Watch.  Redemption Sessions features musicians and athletes who share their stories of falling down, getting up, persevering and triumphing.

    The series fits perfectly with Redemption Whiskey’s name and history.  By finding and producing comeback stories, Redemption celebrates the perseverance of the human spirit in the face of great odds, while simultaneously creating a connection with its customers and potential buyers.

    grant1BSmart brands such as Nike and Red Bull know that 95% of purchasing decisions take place in the subconscious* which is why these brands are media companies as much as they are the makers of shoes, apparel, and soft drinks.  In return, these marketing machines have created billions of dollars in market value through content creation (a.k.a., clever advertising).  Smaller companies such as Yeti Coolers have also achieved massive growth over the last ten years due in large part to its clever advertising – in the form of stories about fascinating people doing amazing things in the great outdoors.

    grant6These brands have reverse engineered the value equation. In other words, unlike most brands that run Product-First Marketing with the exclusive goal of selling more product – Nike, Red Bull and Redemption Whiskey realize the power of People-First Marketing, which focuses on content that inspires, entertains and informs.

    Here, customer value is first and selling product second. You can feel it in the content. The brands are present but People-First marketing is front and center warming customers up and making them more likely to listen.

    grant5As marketers of products, we are no longer in the business of generating mere impressions or even showcasing products and services.  We are in the Connection Economy – we need to build connections with customers or lose to a competitor. With so little difference between products, the manner in which a company communicates with its customers has never been more important. Those brands that believe in People-First marketing will build stronger, wider and more frequent bridges with customers – creating brand love, sales, loyalty and advocacy.

    *Harvard Business Scholl, Professor, Gerald Zaltman