Campaign India Team
Sep 01, 2017

The Tinder effect on brands

And what marketers need to do about it

The Tinder effect on brands
In the age of Tinder (the dating app, for those who have not tried it), three truths have changed for brand marketers.
Ashok Lalla, an independent digital and marketing advisor who’s worked in the past with Mindshare, Havas, Infosys and Taj Hotels had all ears from the audience as he spoke at the Nasscom MarTech summit in Mumbai last week.
“This is the age of brand polygamy. They like changing brand preferences. You may be a market leader but consumers try, buy and dispose,” he said. 
Comparing consumers to kids who like different flavours everytime they walk into an ice cream parlour, he said, “brands have become like flavours in an ice cream parlour”. 
Recalling a Coke campaign that had a tagline, ‘within an arms reach of desire’ he added that in the Tinder world, “brands are within one swipe of desire. But rejection is also one left swipe away.”
He asked the audience, “How do you ride the carousel of brand promiscuity? And how do you ride effectively without falling off?” and gave them a few tips on handling consumers in a Tinder world.
  • You need to accept and embrace this new reality. Wishing it away as something that does not apply to your category is not the answer. Everything applies to your category. 
  •  We need to go where the consumer is. In the good old days, we built websites as shrines for our brands and expected consumers to come and worship. Now we need to go where they are and be available and accessible.
  • Are we responsible and receptive? We need to be snackable in the flirtatious ice cream parlour world. We need to be easy to try. Are we telling enough in the first six seconds for the consumer to get to the next six, and the next six, in a three minute video? Then consumers can see you touch you and to use Tinder analogy, flirt with you. Then they will know you better, like you better and deepen the connection.  
  • Think serial dating, don’t think marriage. Marriage is certainly dead when it comes to conusmers and brands. The good news with serial dating is that they all have favourites. They have their three-four favourites. So in the case of ice-creams they keep going back to that favourite flavor. If you are part of that favourite set in that serial dating experience, then you are not doing too badly. 
  • Think of increasing your DQ (desirability quotient). Are you able to be more desirable to your buyer? If you satisfy that criteria, even if they are polygamists or serial daters, you will be among their favourite lot. 
  • Don’t be insecure and think that rejection is final. Only death and taxes are final. So what if you were rejected by consumers today. There is a time and space where it did not fit very well. No is not final. But even yes is not final. Still be snackable, receptive, increase desirable quotient and you will be able to turn a no into a yes.
  • Be ready to disrupt and rejig yourself before boredom kicks in. the polygamist consumer gets bored of sameness. Be newer, smarter and desirable. Your eighty year brand could do with some botox. The seven year itch is passe. It’s about seven swipes, seven dates that’s the period of boredom today. We must recognize and do things differently.
  • The last point is in contradiction to the previous one. While all this is happening stay true to your brand personality. Don’t me a schizophrenic brand. It’s not about being a different person, but a better person who’s real and authentic. On social media serious brands try to be funny to blend with the trend of being topical. Consumers might not be able to deal with that split persona and go towards something that’s more consistent. Be interesting, accessible but do not change your core DNA.
“One way to deal with it is to stay out of this and keep doing the same old things. But no, go play the Tinder game,” he urged the audience. After all, while your brand is one left swipe away from rejection, you are also that close to acceptance.  
Campaign India

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