Elon’s gimmicks on Twitter
or the rise of the so-called proclaimed AI on rampage/AI apocalypse is not the latest trend you should be bothered about. ISD is here like the newest virus in town and every brand is catching it.
In this quirky yet informative read, we have worked to establish one fact.
From TikTok to No 1 Asian Brand
One sunny bright morning of December 2020, a group of friends Jeremy Kim, John Dalsey, and Brando launched a seltzer brand ‘’Nectar Hard Seltzer’’ that would soon go viral on TikTok in just a matter of days. Prior to this launch, the group had no media recognition, nothing. Just a bunch of friends tired of the old regular weird after taste the big brand seltzers were known for and wanted to try something different. Failing to break into the retail market, they found a shortcut. Founder Jeremy Kim turned to ISD and proving true to its magic, the brand went viral soon after until they have now become the number one Asian seltzer brand in the world.
What the heck does ISD even mean? Who is this guy?
Hang on, we’re just about to find out too.
I – Inclusive
S – Social Media
D – Direct Marketing
And put them together, you’ll get your answer. Inclusive Social Media Direct Marketing.
Wait, you can’t be serious….right?
Well, we are. ISD is no joke. Unlike AI, it actually thrives on emotions rather than a set of programmed information that must be inputted and of course adjusted because let’s face it – everyone knows you gotta fine tune even the best of your AI systems or it's trash.
ISD on the other hand don’t roll like that. It is personal, emotional and manipulative. It does one thing that AI has failed to do. Be actually human.
Still don’t get it? Hang on.
The rules of ISD is simple.
Get involved personally, display vulnerabilities and flaws, show a personality that resonates with your target (victims) and tell a story.
Now note that it only works if you get involved. So that means whoever plays the main character in the story that is being pushed out to the target audience or more correctly victims must be the lead marketer.
Now how did Founder Jeremy Kim do this?
He is the face of the brand. Give him what titles you may, but don’t you think a guy like him would better sit in his office delegating and outsourcing roles? Yeah typical CEO behavior right?
But he did different. He came on social media, became the face of his brand, and sold a story to a target audience, infused emotions into it and viola – people responded. His marketing strategy was inclusive because it showed the face of his brand, the people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, the process, his failures and eventually his wins. He also worked to include his target audience. We like to say victims not literally because if someone makes you buy stuff, you’re a victim of good marketing. Just kidding.
Back to Founder Kim. He is our primary case study for the ISD trend. Since then, he has continued to include and share. He has a trend on TikTok called ''Sale or Fail'' and involves showing his viewers the process of convincing someone to opt for Nectar Hard Seltzer instead of other brands. It’s kinda what people call building in public only this time, you can actually see what is being built, who is building, who is leading, how it’s been done and even get to be a part of the growth process.
How cool is that? Super cool in our opinion because with the increasing use of social media, thousands of brands and businesses have flocked to socials to promote and hopefully reach more people. While so many marketing trends have come and gone, ISD remains one such trend that is constantly climbing into the very seat of undefeated marketing strategy.
But the founders of a seltzer brand are not the only ones riding the waves of this yet to fail big guy. Founders and business owners have become more active on TikTok, LinkedIn, Instagram and even Facebook. Gone are the old days where brand owners were considered dark gods of the anonymous world where no one knew names or mentioned them. Good luck staying secret, this ain’t no FBI.
From the crying CEO
who trended on LinkedIn to the famous TikTok BBL doctor, Dr. Miami who has a whopping amount of followers to his name, the world has seen more and more founders and business owners step out from the shadows and get down to marketing themselves directly on social media through even the most bizarre methods. But a win's a win yeah?
With Dr. Miami, the best part of his marketing style is how he includes his Gen Z social media manager and patients into his stories and shares his epic attempts to keep with with the ruthless Gen Z world of social media. Who says Millennials don’t have it all figured out?
This wave is here to stay...
And now somehow, every brand seems to have caught on the ISD wave. From promotional materials to marketing videos and even behind the scene or process reels, building a persona that aligns with marketing strategies while displaying real characters who are actual parts of the process has become more than just a fizzy trend waiting for the next buzz to disappear. ISD is here to stay.
But like all trends will there a misuse of this new found super power and like AI will articles and prophecies of impending doom soon be the new headline whenever this strategy of marketing is mentioned? And of course, there will always be the peddlers of false stories who will prey on public perception to diffuse the truth or should we put it more accurately, create a false perception of who they really are.
Whether this new wave will be the next marketing doom or not, your favorite brands and more have certainly jumped on its train and yes, they are riding the heck out of it. You should too.
If it lasts or doesn’t, you might wanna join the fun while you still can. And since this fun comes with the money, waiting it out is definitely a bad idea. As long as social media is still around, get that bag.
Oh and who knows? You can find a way to remain authentic even while doing so! You’re not Bruce Wayne, stop trying to be Batman. Come out! Show people what you’re doing. Get inclusive and personal and tell us why we need to buy what you sell.
“You do need to have a good product but to get people to care, I would say that was kind of our secret sauce to it all. And what we were really good at was telling people a story.” – Jeremy Kim for People of Color in Tech
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JB is a firm believer of marketing that is not boring. Bring it spicy, hot, unconventional and of course authentic. With a creative agency under her management, she believes in letting ones' ideas and abilities retain their freedom without being boxed under the guise of normalcy. Defying realism, she pulls her agency through the most difficult terrains by relying on passion and innovation. If you dream it, you can be it. When she is not running her agency, she is doing the one thing she loves more than branding & marketing - Ghostwriting.