Human Experience to Sell Sunglasses

I love when I come across a utilitarian brand like Ray Ban which, despite selling a product that doesn’t naturally lend itself to content creation (who wants to read dozens of articles about sunglasses?), has a content marketing strategy that is engaging, memorable, and, more or less, killing it.

The trick? Excellent storytelling that aligns the brand with the target market’s deeper interests. Or — in Ray Ban’s case — using music, architecture and the human experience to sell sunglasses.

If you want your content to be remembered you have to spark an emotional response. To do this you need to pick a target market, get to know them inside and out, and then align your brand with your target market’s deeper interests.

And not just what do they want content wise. The trick is to think beyond that. What do they want out of life? What do they want to do on the weekend? What do they want to wear? What do they want to know more about? What do they want to be when they grow up?

To tap into their market’s inner desires, interests, and wants, Ray Ban has aligned itself with an overarching theme that allows them to use content that has nothing to do with sunglasses to sell sunglasses.

It sounds crazy, but when done right – as Ray Ban has done – it really works.

For Ray Ban, the overarching theme that associates them with the inner desires of the market is “Never Hide.” Which – in addition to “be an extrovert and show off how awesome you look in those sunglasses” – they translate to mean be yourself; tell your story; “stay true to your vision” and find your “purpose in life” as they put it in one landing page.

This theme is emotive, memorable, and the heart of what makes it possible for Ray Ban to use engaging stories about architects to keep consumers on their website. It’s the embodiment of them reaching beyond the surface level – beyond “wear sunglasses!” – to get in touch, deep down, with what really motivates their market.

Ray Ban has included the story of iPhoneographer Cesar Kuriyama on their website. It’s pretty cut and dry; Cesar talks about what motivates him and what he finds interesting, and Ray Ban edits his story into a 1.5-minute YouTube video. The video ends with the words “Never Hide” and the Ray Ban logo, and in the video Cesar wears Ray Ban sunglasses while he does his thing. Cesar is cool, forward thinking, inspired, inspiring, which — since they shared his story on their website — makes Ray Ban cool, forward thinking, inspired, and inspiring by association. By using Cesar’s story as support for their overarching theme, Cesar’s story then becomes part of Ray Ban’s story. And since Cesar’s story is memorable and emotive, Ray Ban’s story becomes memorable and emotive.

Ray Ban doesn’t have a blog. They don’t write 300-1000 word articles that include keyword phrases. They don’t really write about sunglasses, even. They don’t create this kind of content because that isn’t the type of content that keeps their audience engaged.

It’s all goes back to aligning the content you create with the needs of your target market and their deeper interests.

Remember: Your product is not just sunglasses, or baby food, or toilet paper, or car insurance, or online marketing.

Find your target market’s deeper purpose, and don’t be afraid to let the community who represents those interests help you tell your brand story.

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