Raving fans and the new approach in engaging audiences


As individuals, we relate better with people we understand, and are naturally averse to those who approach us with ulterior motives. We sometimes go as far as calling them ‘fake’ or ‘not genuine’. Brands are not any different, and consumers generally will not have a problem being loyal to a brand they perceive cares for them genuinely.

Largely, a brand is similar to a living organism and in the long run, how people feel about your brand will be determined by the core messaging, vision and approach. So just imagine this: you’re streaming a video on the internet and adverts of a particular product keep popping up and interrupting your experience. No doubt, you’ll remember the product being advertised, but not in the way the brand would like you to. Because you’re upset, your brain will most likely associate the brand with discomfort, so building allegiance or loyalty towards such a brand will be difficult.

As a business owner, what you really need is for people to have a fond memory of it. Invariably, it takes a lot more effort to mitigate or improve on a bad brand impression than it takes to create a good one. So, the sooner you can acknowledge the importance of becoming a human brand, and you can truly inspire and connect with your audiences, the sooner you’ll see results as you integrate this into your campaigns and into the fabric of your organisation.

To reach more consumers, care about things that are important to other human beings – like happiness, enjoyment, community, progress and more. In addition, make your audience the hero of your storytelling narrative and communicate with them in language they can understand.

A viral, successful, and really compelling story among Nigerians is the Maltina brand, which has successfully created a campaign that connects with a nation-wide audience, sharing happiness and inspiring Nigerians to share their moments of happiness with loved ones. In recent communications, emphasis has been on the premise that happiness doesn’t have to be shared only when the big things in life happens. For Maltina, it is the “little things” that brings happiness.

Is there anyone who does not identify with that? What a brilliant campaign idea!

Anyone who has listened to radio in Nigeria recently, read the newspapers or watched any other media platform, would have heard the Maltina brand talking about ‘Sharing Happiness’.

This campaign birthed another ongoing campaign of Maltina – the ‘1000 Smiles’ campaign, which is an exciting initiative by the Maltina brand aimed at sharing happiness and capturing smiles of people across diverse backgrounds in Nigeria. The brand partnered with celebrity photographer, Noble Igwe to curate smiley moments from different faces around Nigeria, and is based on the fact that there are always reasons to smile.

So far, the Maltina 1000 smiles tour has run across various cities and the happiness team at Maltina has documented photos, videos and also engaged in other fun activities with the members of the communities including handing out free cans of Maltina drinks.

The brand has done an exceptional job at providing relatable experiences for its audiences across the country, and has so easily become a part of a cultural conversation that is relevant to the brand. They have leveraged on existing cultural moments and proven that they are in touch with what is happening with Nigerians at the moment.

Some other brands have also been able to achieve this in the past, turning their customers into raving fans. But this has become more difficult to witness in recent years, and it is about time brands moved away from impersonal marketing messaging, and evolved into one with which consumers would feel a personal connection.