This wasn’t an easy blog to write. It made me think. Google says, “Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone”. Wow, that’s deep.
THE ATTENTION SPAN OF AN IMPATIENT GOLDFISH
As I scroll through Instagram I wonder if the brands and ‘influencers’ have read that definition. You are exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages every day. You switch between screens up to 21 times an hour. Your attention span is now just eight seconds. Whether I like it or not I’m subconsciously influenced by what I see every day. So as I zoom in to see what Taylor Swift and Pippa are doing today, the reality is that I’m more likely to consider the brands they are using tomorrow.
WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY
I’m influenced by brands who strip things back and spend executive team time figuring out their purpose and their values. Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. Millennials want purpose. 75% of them feel businesses are too focused on their own agendas rather than improving society. Having a clear purpose isn’t fluffy, it’s smart. I’m influenced by brands who create great content aligned with their purpose. Content that engages at a raw, human level. They inspire change. Financial gain isn’t always the objective but is often the result.
GET YOUR TISSUES READY!
Some examples? Always #likeagirl on inspiring confidence and empowering girls, check it out here. The Finance Sector Union of Norway on gender pay, check it out here. World Down Syndrome Day on changing perceptions, check it out here and Pro Infirmis on inclusion, check it out here.
SO WHO ARE MY INFLUENCERS?
I have a 4 year old. I worry about the influencers and brands she will follow and how they will have ‘an effect on her character, development and behaviour’. Will those brands and influencers understand the impact of their power? So, I’m influenced by CMOs and Marketing Directors who push the boundaries and take on big topics aligned with their purpose and values. I’m influenced by the CEOs who commission campaigns as highlighted in the previous paragraph. And the many more who will do so in the future. They understand the real power of a brand and how to use it to inspire positive change.
Niamh O’Connor – Senior Account Director