Use Fantasy Marketing to Create Positive Impact for Your Brand

5 steps to create content that makes your customers fantasize about your brand and buy from it

Consumers want everything and more. As entrepreneurs and marketeers we create experiences that fit to the buyer persona and hope that sales will eventually bulk up and never stop rising. What if creating experiences is something consumers do not value anymore?

Following highly known people on Instagram I realized that marketing is evolving to what I call fantasy marketing: people consume more fantasies than real experiences. Fantasy marketing creates more impact than experiential marketing. Let us compare both marketing concepts. Mercedes-Benz, one of the sexiest automobile brands, released the YouTube video The uncrashable Toy Cars where a child experiences its new break assist system. It is an entertaining video with around six million views but is the consumer fantasizing about the experience? Likely not. What about another YouTube video published around the same time and makes its viewers fantasize about the possible lifestyle?

On Instagram the strongest brands are owned by real people. Jay Alvarrez published his YouTube video called Summer with roughly 22 million views. What’s the difference between him and Mercedes-Benz? Clever Jay Alvarrez uses his video making skills and a hand-held camera to invite viewers to his lifestyle. The result: unreal fantasies become almost touchable. A lifestyle of high-class hotels with epic swimming pools, wide natural landscapes only known from National Geographic and amazing skydives above sky-blue oceans followed by an after-party with world-renowned DJs.

You watch the movie midday and still fantasize about it when going to bed. That is fantasy marketing.

Follow the next five steps to create maximum marketing impact by crafting content that makes your customer fantasize about your brand and buying your products.

1. Know your buyer persona

Fantasy marketing starts similar as other marketing concepts: understand who your customer is. Imagine a brand such as Apple would start to market products at discount markets with its full-priced MacBooks. The profile of consumers frequenting discount shops does not fit to buyers of Apple products. Use the well known AIO lifestyle model developed by marketing expert Philipp Kotler and research the following variables to understand your buyer persona:

  • Activities
  • Interests
  • Opinions

2. Focus on crafting fantasies

Instead of only emphasizing the benefits of your products, analyze the lifestyle that your customers wish to possess. I found Michael Kors to be a good example: go through its most watched video about the Michael Kors Access Smartwatch. You shortly see the benefits but the always present theme of the 30-second video is the lifestyle of the supermodels. Wake up in a kingsize bed, cleanse your face in a bathroom with golden faucets, check the city view from the balcony, train in a private sports club (to burn the calories from an imaginary breakfast), go to a fancy nail salon, and make several selfies with your highly styled friends before going to the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The product remains in the head but much more so does the brand — and the fantasy of one day leading such a sophisticated lifestyle.

3. Build an integrated communication strategy

Your customers will remember your brand because of the fantasies that it evokes in them but you will need to push all your other channels. Your product must be available for purchase at every customer touchpoint to enjoy the benefit of impulsive buying decisions.

4. Do not exaggerate but leave out important truths

You will not live the lifestyle of supermodels just by wearing the Michael Kors Access Smartwatch. The models worked hard and earned their privilege to afford their lifestyle but the video does not show it. Critical viewers will understand this but fantasy marketeers do not have to explain this missing truth. There is no demand for this. Instead focus on creating a fantasy of a lifestyle that is possible while using your product.

5. Measure against past campaigns for improvement

Check how your customers react to the new campaign. How do they feel and what do they fantasize about your brand and products? Compare that to your last campaigns and ask whether your Net Promoter Score is improving or not. Perhaps you have to blend fantasy marketing with other concepts, such as experiential and guerrilla marketing. There is no rule hindering you. There is only one rule:

„Getting the right message to the right people via the right media and methods — effectively, efficiently, and profitably.“ – Dan Kennedy, The Ultimate Marketing Plan



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