Skip to main content

Knowing Your Audience Makes All The Difference

"Why didn't we go see Eminem?" one might have asked. On Veteran's Day here in Washington, DC, there was a massive concert downtown, every name-brand singer under the sun.
But I wanted to be right where we were: the "Tribute to America's Veterans Concert" the Silver Spring Town Center. Because Lisa Martin, executive director and the organizer of the event, focused her efforts brilliantly.
It wasn't about the music. It was about making a meaningful, enjoyable and appropriate gathering for locals to celebrate and learn.
What made this event masterful was Martin's focus on who would be attending, that is Matures and Baby Boomers. She aimed principally to make the event work for this crowd. That is:
  • Personalized confirmations that we had seats - from her and not an assistant.
  • Multiple accessible entryways and wide aisles in the concert area.
  • Tasteful food artfully displayed, white wine and hors d'oeuvres.
  • Talks by diverse veterans and their children. There was not a sound as one woman told us how her father was completely molded by World War II. "He taught us order and respect," she said, "literally, 'no rotten apples in our backyard.'"
  • Music that spoke to the '60s and '70s.
  • Welcoming, non-overwhelming open areas to encourage even the older and less limber among us to dance.
There was one other special feature of the event, also one Martin must have known would be appealing: unveiling a bright new talent in the world of music. Her name is Vanny, she is 17 years old, and she sings with the soul of a much older and more mature person.
Remember Bob Marley's "Buffalo Soldier?"
Here she is singing The Jackson Five's "I Want You Back":
Vanny sidled onstage so humble and unassuming. I almost didn't believe she was "the talent." And then she took out her guitar, and flipped through several sheets of music, and broke into song.
I went totally nuts when she did "Lean On Me":
...and of course the rest of us sung along.
It was beautiful to witness history last night. To be a witness, for people who came home from Vietnam and weren't treated as well as they should have been. To honor them decades later and say, you know what, you did that for us and we are grateful.
To witness the birth of a new age, new thinking, new talent.
It was a beautiful event because of the masterful planning and focus of one marketer.
Dannielle Blumenthal is a seasoned communications professional with nearly two decades of progressive, varied experience in the public sector, private sector, and academia as well as her own independent, freelance sole proprietorship. This blog is written in her personal capacity. The opinions expressed here are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the National Archives and Records Administration, or the United States government. Screenshot is from the event flyer.

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …