Whether you’re an Olympics aficionado like me, or perhaps just a casual observer it is hard to miss Toyota’s Olympic ads featuring the tag line, “START YOUR IMPOSSIBLE.” I have to admit, several of these ads got to me a little bit, especially the beautiful story of a Paralympic swimmer’s adoption. These ads resonated not because of what I saw and heard, but because of how they made me feel. They reminded me of what it means to be human, and to care for others.
What’s So Special About These Ads?
Well, for starters they aren’t about cars…at all. They are about people. Toyota’s message is clear, “We're committed to unlocking human potential through the power of movement. As a proud Partner of Team USA, Toyota is always committed to helping people reach their fullest potential—from Team USA Athletes to consumers everywhere.” Instead of flooding our eyes with trucks driving over mountains, they decided to highlight incredible people doing incredible things. Toyota’s value proposition is, “We strive to develop products that inspire a spirit of adventure and take people anywhere they want to go.” Toyota isn’t just a literal vehicle, it’s an organization that’s a vehicle for human transformation. Reach your full potential, fostering adventure in all of us, and taking you where you want to go - who doesn’t want to be a part of something like that? As financial professionals, Toyota reminds us that it’s about the journey, not about the money!
Why Does This Matter?
While none of us have the capital and manpower Toyota does to put a campaign like this together for ourselves, we can absolutely benefit from understanding the basic principals of why this is relevant.
- The first and perhaps most critical truth is: we must help our audience connect with our why. Toyota sells cars and robotics; we already know that. What we learned through this campaign is about their values and why they do what they do.
- The second principal is audience-centered engagement. People don’t want to hear “your story” because they don’t really care about that…at least not yet. They want to hear how your story can be about them. Or more precisely they want to hear their story and how you might fit into it. Toyota is telling their audience’s story and standing off in the background saying, “we support this and you.”
- Third, believe in your audience, especially if you want them to believe in you. It's one thing to communicate with people because you believe you have something of value to say. It's another to communicate with people because you believe they have value.
People's opinion of us has less to do with what they see in us than it does with what we can help them see in themselves. As financial professionals, part of our brand promise is supporting people in achieving their best lives. Our belief in them fuels helping them realize their dreams.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Good Story
We connect through our humanness. All of us seek meaningful relationships because the quality of our life directly proportional to the quality of our relationships. Our clients don’t buy our stuff, they buy us. Your brand is your emotional connection to your clients and the value of their experience working with you. It’s not only your promise fulfilled, but what you represent to your clients in helping transform their lives financially.
So, who’s story can you tell? How can your marketing connect with your audience in extraordinary ways to give light to clients and help them move forward?” Don’t be afraid to bring emotion into the picture, the more you can help people feel something, the more significant an impact you will have. Emphasize your why so your audience can connect with your values, not your products or services. Let Toyota’s messaging inspire your marketing pivot to your prospects, “with a great team, the possibilities are endless.”