When it comes to getting noticed in today’s ever expanding content bazaar, I’m reminded of that scene in the original Shrek movie when Shrek is seeking someone to accompany him on his mission. Donkey — desperate for a friend and ever eager to be of value to someone — jumps up and down shouting, “Pick me! Pick me!” until Shrek has no choice but to — albeit reluctantly — do just that.
While the relationship between Shrek and Donkey takes awhile to solidify, by the end of the movie Donkey’s persistence pays off for him and ultimately, for Shrek as well. Both parties gain from the relationship. When all is said and done, their bond is locktight. Unbreakable.
But their relationship isn’t built in a day. Nor is it smooth sailing from the get go. A number of forces both external and internal threaten to destroy it as the narrative unfolds. Shrek’s past emotional wounds are triggered easily. Donkey has yet to figure out boundaries. Then Princess Fiona joins the mix and the budding bromance is threatened yet again.
To both parties’ credit, however, they are able to work through the rough patches despite the quirks each character possesses and enjoy something each desires and values: friendship.
While I’m not advocating that brands mimic Donkey’s annoying method of getting his target market to notice him, his persistence can be a great lesson for anyone who has a long term vision for gaining awareness of and loyalty for their brand by the right customers.
The truth is, getting potential customers to notice and pick your brand over the dozens of others out there who offer similar products or services takes consistent and measured effort, along with a hefty dose of patience (and occasional shots to the ego). Swarms of raving fans and loyal advocates are not going to show up the moment a brand posts its first piece of content on Twitter or Facebook.
In fact, more and more potential customers will come to the table as Shreks — cautious, suspicious, even downright hostile, having been burned before, wanting to know how our brand is different. To do that involves consistently creating and contributing content to the marketplace that reinforces their decision, while serving them authentically so that they become friends for life.
Indeed, like Donkey, it’s our only job at that point to prove they made the right choice.