The digital dust that brands give off every day, both as individuals and as businesses, may create an illusion of what’s on offer. The trouble is, there’s so much floating around, it’s difficult to get your particular dust in the eyes of your prospects.

So, prospective clients look for case studies. In B2B, this has become the low bar validation of a business’s credibility.

Social isn’t as social anymore

Have you noticed how some of your friends are not posting on Facebook as often as they used to? They might be reading the news on Twitter, but tweeting? Not so much.

This trend is being exploited by some clever brands. When they have something to say (sell), they’re everywhere. Otherwise, it’s hard to find them. Exclusivity in being absent.

Similarly, if you’re not looking on Instagram, you probably won’t see your teenage family or friends, and you won’t get to join the chat anyway, because WhatsApp, Messenger and Slack are the places to go for that – by invitation.

On the other hand, have you noticed a decline in advertising by the mass brands you follow? Probably not. Brands are so desperate to tell you how great they are that social platform revenues from advertising are still doing OK.

The ‘by invitation’ nuance is something to watch.

Gaining access to a private conversation is now a ‘must have’ in premium marketing. Being on the inside of a group shows that you are ‘one of us’ and gives you a pleasing exclusivity.

Exclusivity equals scarcity, which equals premium. If a consumer can get a social edge by being the first or the only one to have a new thing, they’ll be happy to pay for the privilege.

Where do you see these trends?

To see new trends before they really emerge, have a look at Instagram and Pinterest, go and see the new media being launched (like this one) – the disruptors are there and the things they’re spotlighting will soon be sought after.

You can forget Fast CompanyInc. and the rest, with their lists of 398 things we love and 128 other things you should do. These guys have lost their edge to Monocle and friends.

It doesn’t matter if you want to play in a fashion market, fruit and veg, automotive or even to see where people’s heads are at in plastics recycling, online is still the cheapest place to find the new ideas if you believe your own curiosity and intuition. For more free detail, go to the latest news outlets. It’s all there for you to explore.

So, where to look isn’t new, of course. But what’s out there is new to to the new audience, where the norm is for everyone to have access to everything, all the time.

And here’s why exclusivity is back: ‘always on’ is beginning to look a bit old. In fact, if you aren’t always on, where are you? Intrigue and brand-scarcity works if you can monetise exclusivity.

Back to case studies and digital dust.

Publishing details about the good stuff your company has done has become the basis of qualifying value propositions across markets.

Look at every website on the internet, and if a company has been there for more than five minutes it will have an ego wall of customer brand logos and a case study behind each one.

But what of the site that shows logos and no case study? What of the company that doesn’t show any clues about their track record? The question is moving from ‘well, if there’s no case study, did they really do that work?’ to ‘if there’s no case study, maybe we should talk to them to see what they delivered.’

Intrigue sells. It always has. The reason is that a buyer has to work for the benefit they perceive in the relationship. Show everything up front and the decision to talk or not is binary: yes or no?  Show a bit of what’s on offer, and a conversation has to start before anything else can happen.

Talk to us and you’ll find that whether we say it in a case study or not, the good work goes on in FMCG, pharma, culture, VMS, personal mobility/EVs, law, accountancy… we’re hard at work in and on all of these sectors.

It can be difficult to go into too much detail about our work, but you know what? Intrigue and exclusivity is what the clever brands are doing.

Want to know what we’re up to? You’ll have to email me to find out.

Click here and most of the hard work is done for you.

Seeing it differently. Future-proofing. It’s what we do.

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