Indie culture - an emerging trend found among teenagers, with the definition of being “consciously deviated” from mainstream trends. The culture is constantly gaining dominance, from pop songs to fast fashions. “Indie” is not about how rare something is, but the vibe is what we are talking about. It features things that are not exactly in the mainstream, yet is also not the complete opposite of what’s trendy, it's somewhere in between the both.
Living in a world that is heavily-influenced by social media, it seems almost like it is compulsory to follow trends in order to be fashionable and stylish. Yet, seeing a lot of things along the same trend might be boring, and here comes the rise of indie culture. Different brands nowadays try to shift their focus to being unique and catering to niche tastes in order to stand out from their competitors. In digital marketing, it is a trend that businesses started using various elements adapted from indie culture to better promote their brand.
Even though being “indie” sounds miserable and confusing, there are numerous easy ways to blend it in with modern digital marketing. Read on to find out more!
1. Create a unique branding
Believe it or not, a company's image plays such a huge role in marketing. Branding helps customers differentiate brands, and with a unique one, it helps you stand out from the crowd and be the spotlight. In this modern era, customers dislike brands being too commercial. By making your customers feel cared for and acknowledged, it naturally brings in more customers.
Yet, in what way, you might ask? Well, being unique doesn't necessarily equate to being so creative and all. Simply add a meaning to your brand. Examples can be just like the recent movements like #BlackLivesMatter , #Juneteenth or #metoo. Be aware of what your target customers are caring for and deliver a message that you stand on the same line. Customers with alike thinking will then be more prone to choosing your brand over others.
Just like Ben & Jerry’s, an ice cream brand based in the U.S., they posted a cartoon on Twitter saying that they stand for #Juneteenth. They are aware of the increasing awareness of injustice in the community and hence used their platform to advocate their customers on it, choosing its stance to promote equality. The post ends up reaching over 3k likes, with its usual being under one thousand.
Post retrieved from: https://twitter.com/benandjerrys/status/1273646907689140226?s=20
2. Be bold
Don’t be afraid to be different! Be bold and think of something out of the box. These unexpected elements don’t have to be dominating your brand, but by adding in small elements that seem different from other brands, it attracts customers that have a bold style.
Being bold makes you different. Even numerous results have shown that, the wilder the advertisement is, the more memorable it is.
Look at this Japanese advertisement. A young woman wearing a bathrobe changing light bulbs is nothing related to a moving company. Ridiculous, right? But who says things have to go the traditional way? Being bizarre creates this unerasable memory. It might even stir up discussions and increase the audience’s brand awareness. So, why not be bold?
Video retrieved from: https://youtu.be/dARUVUjpzWQ
3. Break the rules
Scared of breaking old rules? Don’t be! People like exciting and new elements that they have never seen before. Especially for teenagers, who love being innovative, will enjoy the idea of being “unlike the old ones”.
Being new doesn’t mean being complicated and completely newfangled. You may choose to think of it this way: bringing old elements together. New ideas might not come from a clean slate, but from the mix and match of existing ideas. By choosing some new combinations, it satisfies the audience’s craving for novelty. When people find your ideas amusing, they might choose your brand simply because it feels different.
Take reference to this Instagram post posted by BrewDog. Originally as a craft beer firm, BrewDog used the pandemic as a chance to mix beer-making and making hand sanitizer. With a traditional way of thinking, never can a beer-making firm turn into someone who works on making hand sanitizers. Never say never, they say. Breweries can indeed make hand sanitizers too.
Post retrieved from: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-JvWFvA2o4/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
When you see cosmetics, you think of women, right? However, L'Oreal says differently. "This is an ad for men.” is clearly shown on the advertisement, clear and bolded. In hope to deliver the message of supporting gender equality, L'Oreal breaks old rules and uses an all-red poster to sell what L'Oreal stands for and indirectly attracts more female customers.
Photo retrieved from Google
4. Be down-to-earth
In the modern era, people are bored of things that are too commercial and distant. In reverse, they like brands that feel close and approachable. Customers enjoy brands that they are able to reach out to, and usually will be more open to repurchasing and being a loyal customer. Modern days require modern ways. By selling your brand as a down-to-earth one, it lures customers naturally.
Being down-to-earth nearly requires no effort, I would say. Just observe and act like your target audience. Make use of something that everyone can relate to and mingle with your customers. Be more personal and down-to-earth. Create more interactions and communications with them, with examples including holding various challenges or inviting them to take polls. By building up an easy-going environment, it encourages customers to reach out more and hold strong memories of your brand.
Take this Instagram story as an example. Minga London posts Q&As regularly to enhance communication between their brand and the customers. They answer what the audience wants to know about. This enables customers to be able to reach out to their company easily.
Photo retrieved from Instagram @mingalondon
To wrap up, brands can adopt elements from "indie" culture which is to be unique and different in order to stand out from the crowd. Despite only requiring low costs, they are also easy to apply. Take note of the above elements from the rising culture and define your own outstanding style!
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