Who is the enemy that torments your consumers every day?

Posted on Posted in Beloved Brands Explained
Consumer Insight

Who is your consumer’s enemy? While products solve small problems, the best brands beat down the enemy that torments their consumers every day. Put yourself in the shoes of your consumer. What is their most significant frustration pain point?

The Starbucks consumer

Let’s get in the shoes of the Starbucks consumer. She is a 38-year-old mom with two kids. She wakes up at 6:15 a.m. to get ready for work and get everyone in the house prepared for their day. Then, she drops off one kid at daycare at 7:30 a.m., the other at the public school at 7:45 a.m. then rushes to the office by 8:30 a.m. And, she drives a van, not because she wants to but because it is excellent for carrying equipment for after-school activities, including soccer, dance, tutoring and ice hockey. Her only tokens of appreciation are hugs at the end of a long day. Just after getting both kids to bed, she collapses into her bed, exhausted.

Who is the enemy of the Starbucks consumer? A hectic life

While Starbucks helps consumers who don’t have enough time in life, the Starbucks brand beats down the enemy of the hectic life that torments consumers everyday.  

The Starbucks brand fights the consumer enemy, by providing a 15-minute moment of escape between work and home. Starbucks has no children’s playground, just lovely leather seats. No loud screams, just soft acoustic music. The cool 21-year-old college student not only knows their name but their favorite drink. 

Your consumer’s enemy

The enemy should open you up into a creative space a bit more which allows you to be more emotional in your work. 

While the Tide product helps consumers with the problem grass stains, the Tide brand battles the enemy of the judgment of their mother in law, who torments them with guilt. 

While the Volvo product addresses safety concerns, the Volvo brand beats down the fear that consumers have of the mindless drivers who torment them every day on the roads.

If you want to understand your consumer’s pain points, think of how you would project their enemy and express how your brand fights that enemy on their behalf. Shifting from solving a rational consumer problem to beating down an emotional consumer enemy is the starting point to reaching into the emotional need state of your consumer. 

Disney fights off the consumer enemy of “growing up.” Nike fights the consumer enemy of “losing.” Apple fights off the consumer enemy of “frustration with computers.”

Apple fights off the enemy of frustration

Unless you work in IT, you likely find computers extremely frustrating. 

We have all sat at our computer, wanting to pull our hair out. Examples of computer frustration include spending 38 minutes to figure out how to print, getting error message 6303 that says “close all files open and reboot,” or if you have ever bought a new computer and you need to load up 13 disks and three manuals to read before you can even email your friend to tell them how amazing your computer is. 

Apple has recognized the frustration that consumers go through. They capitalized on the enemy of frustration with PCs with the famous TV campaign of “Hi I’m a Mac,….and I’m a PC”, helping to demonstrate the many issues around computer set up, viruses, and trying to make the most of your computer.  As soon as you open the box, you can use the new computer. Macs are intuitive, aligned to how consumers think, not how IT people think. You can even take classes to learn.

Yes, the Apple product is about computers, tablets, and phones. The Apple brand beats down the consumer’s frustration with technology that torments them every time they grab their phone or turn on their computer. This sets up the brand idea that Apple makes technology so simple that everyone can feel part of the future.  

How can you project your consumer's enemy that you are fighting on their behalf?

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