Cliché All Day

Cliché All Day

How to avoid summer marketing fatigue

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash
by Melissa McNutt / originally published on LinkedIn


Summer is just around the corner and we all know what that means, right? Rosé all day! Errr, about that…For the last several summers we’ve been bombarded with a certain style of cultural cliche, one with a synthetic aesthetic that permeates social media and events created to be used on social- and if you’re feeling what I’m feeling, you’re over it. Like ourselves, consumers are sick of canned moments and lining up for engagements with a more genuine feel. Transitioning away from curated monotony and working to deliver more authentic content for your followers is a great way to stand out in a crowded space no matter which marketing channel you’re using to deliver your message. 

Here are some thoughts on how to keep your brand messaging authentic rather than contrived:

Don’t be a clone

Summer events are hot, fast and fun and can give your brand a real boost if you’re picking the right places to activate. I’m a big fan of attaching activations to cultural moments to bolster brand marketing, but to really make this work requires some deep thought around execution. Nothing is a bigger turnoff than a sponsorship that blatantly lacks the context to tie your brand into an experience or worse, you look just like every other brand on site. You have to come up with a concept that is unique to the event you’re associating with and not an obvious rip off of something consumers will recognize. Tie into the event, but put your own spin on it and make sure you’re approaching the concept with a sense of humor and an appropriate level of self awareness. 

Pick partnerships with shelf life

A well crafted influencer or fellow brand partnership is a great way to give legs to an activation, but you have to ensure the engagement rings true to both sets of followers as this is the audience you’re looking to convert. If you want to give a genuine feel to a partnership with an influencer, you need to agree on a set amount of guidelines that go beyond just promoting things onsite at events. Your partnership should extend pre and post event via channels like social media and any custom content they are publishing. When thinking about structuring your partnership strategy, be sure to factor in activating online and IRL and how you want that to look to ensure it’s an authentic partnership that resonates with consumers.  

Engage on a genuine level

What motivates you to get out of the house on the weekend? Chances are, your Saturdays are consumed with socializing, parenting and dining out like most everybody else. But when I pull up social media, I’m inundated with glamorous, posed families and serene women embarking on wellness journeys and frankly it just ties in to my life less and less. Life is messy and brands can absolutely keep it real while selling a lifestyle. As a brand creating messaging, factoring in your audience to determine content creation can save time and money in addition to helping you stand out. There’s a way to sell an aspirational lifestyle without alienating your audience, it just requires thoughtfulness and authenticity. Your audience wants to relate to you and moments that are too magazine ready just make you look out of touch rather than genuine. 

Authenticity in marketing is not a new concept, but learning how to spread it out over the channels you use to engage with consumers is something that can be a challenge if you’re stuck in a rut or falling down a rabbit hole of clichés. As you evolve your messaging, be sure to weave your polished brand persona amongst efforts that show you’re real people behind the curtain. Your audience is savvier than ever, and updating your experiential channels to incorporate genuine moments is going to result in more loyalty in return. 


Melissa McNutt is a Co-Founder and Head of Strategy at One Two Collective, a consultancy that helps brands enhance their consumer experience. Prior to that, she was Head of Brand Experience at mixed reality startup Magic Leap and Head of Experiential at Samsung. Email her at




The facts are simple: you can’t sell much until people know what it is that you’re selling. A product? A service? It’s a common misconception that you can blast ads and information all over social media and people will organically pick it up. You need to be highly methodical with who, what, where and when you are targeting your consumers. A deceptively simple concept, awareness is critical to your business goals but also one that can be glossed over with incorrect assumptions about your core demographic or the ease of understanding your product’s use.

Below we dig into awareness and create a checklist for things to look out for when creating the strategy you will use to enter into the public sphere, helping you avoid some common pitfalls along the way. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you start spreading information and to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Who is your target market? Have you researched thoroughly to see if you’re missing a key demographic?

It’s easy to assume you know your target, let me guess, 18-35… but you might be missing some key consumers that are outliers, so be sure to find out who has the buying power.

What drives your consumers? What are they passionate about, and how can you attach your product to these passion points?

The consumer experience should drive your marketing strategy. If you build core features into a product experience consumers are more willing to integrate it into their daily habits and share information organically with their peers.

What is the key takeaway you want for consumers? Are you consistent in your messaging? Do you have a firm identity?

Dig deep into what you want people to know about your brand and how you want them to absorb it. Then, give them clear actions to take. You should always use a consistent tone with your potential consumers. It’s never cute when someone thinks you’re being serious but you’re being sarcastic.

Is your content robust enough to get noticed? Are you word vomiting, or are you giving them something memorable through videos/images?

If your product is detailed and requires a robust explanation, figure out how to give them snackable content to consume in pieces. Attention spans are short, so use your time wisely.

What social platforms do your consumers use? What is the engagement/outcome you’re looking for?

Potential consumers absorb and engage on different platforms in different ways. Avoid pushing information at your potential consumers, and instead work on engaging with them by providing information that is relevant to their lives. Again, this creates an opportunity for them to share organically.

Influencers are key to awareness, but are they the right influencers with the right followers? How are you engaging your influencers and creating an authentic partnership for long term results?

The influencer space may be the wild west of marketing, but I have yet to see a successful campaign with an influencer that doesn’t genuinely care about the product. With small businesses, we recommend focusing on micro-influencers that have a niche following who will use and love your product rather than a bigger name who just wants the cash.

There you have it, a jumping off point for a whole heck of a lot more decisions. We’ve given you the WHAT and WHY here, if you want to chat more about the HOW- let’s set up a discovery call and see if our insights and two phase approach are the secret sauce to keep your brand awareness more fire and less Fyre Festival.