Monthly Archives

January 2020

What Ryan Reynolds Can Teach You About Brand Affinity

By | Branding, Marketing | No Comments

What do brand affinity and Deadpool have in common? Ryan Reynolds.

When he’s not playing the foul-mouthed mercenary or winning over hearts, Ryan is also an entrepreneur building Aviation Gin.

Aviation Gin recently caught a lot of attention for creating the Marvel Cinematic Universe of TV commercials when they scooped up the actress from this blunder of a spot from Peloton. Try not to cringe.

Within 36 hours, Ryan and his team had filmed and distributed a new video with Monica Ruiz’s (the actress) face front and centre in the opening shot. Eyes teary, Monica hits the watering hole to drink away her pain with her two supportive friends. You’ll love this.

The original Peloton ad was met with a ton of controversy. The internet did with it what the internet does with things it doesn’t like– memes. With parodies across Tik Tok, Instagram, and comment sections everywhere, the internet was having a field day with Peloton.

I’ll admit, the only other time I had heard of Aviation Gin before this was during Ryan’s very meta commercial for Samsung.

His team’s responsiveness to a very tiny window of opportunity allowed Aviation Gin to get itself in front of a ton of new customers in the best light possible.

With the holiday season in full swing, the timing of Aviation Gin’s move could not have been better. Had they been a day or two more late, we might have not cared as much.

Today, we’re going to take some time to breakdown the brand affinity lessons we can learn from Ryan Reynolds and how you can apply them to your company.

But first, let’s make sure we’re on the same page.

What The Heck Is Brand Affinity?


Oxford defines affinity as “a spontaneous or natural liking for someone or something.” Brand affinity is basically the same thing. When you have an affinity towards a brand, you naturally like it more than its competitors. It’s why I pay the extra $100 for my grande extra hot Americano with blonde espresso at Starbucks instead of settling for Timmies’ bean water.

Brands use emotions to strengthen the relationship they have with their customers. This can be as subtle as the copywriting on their menus, to as overt as a waiter asking what the special occasion is. Companies with high brand affinity understand that optimizing every touch point is crucial.

Children even as young as 3 years old are able to identify and distinguish between logos. Your kid knows that you’re a liar if you promised the palace of golden arches but take them to Burger King.

…how could you?

Nurturing brand affinity helps cement your brand as the go-to when someone needs what you’re selling. Consider the exercise below.

You need tissues. You pick up a box of __________.
You need sticky notes. You pick up a pack of __________.
It's cold out and your lips are dry. You grab your __________.

These brands have become so popular that their products are synonymous with the entire category.

Most companies only ever seek brand loyalty. But there needs to be an emotional connection for your brand to stay top of mind in the first place. What would make someone think of your product beyond just a lower price or a few extra features?

Brand affinity is what leads to customer loyalty.

Aviation Gin isn’t the cheapest product on the market in its category. And it certainly isn’t the gin your grandfather used to drink.

Developing brand affinity is about nurturing human connections. It takes a lot of leg work. But it’s not work that Ryan Reynolds and his team shy away from.

Here’s What Ryan Does Well


Corporations are guilty of speaking to customers like… well, corporates.

A couple stopping to grab a bottle of wine before a dinner party don’t speak to each other as if they’re monoliths. Ryan knows this. He knows how the people who he wants to pick up his product actually talk to each other.

So, he employs the same tone and language that you’d overhear them using. A quick scroll through their Twitter feed will show you how tongue-in-cheek their copy is. They never use supernumerary words with crazy syllable counts or drone on in lengthy copy with an exclamation point at the end for a last ditch effort to add “personality!”

Aviation Gin has a certain voice. And you, naturally, associate a face or a type of person to that voice. I bet you’re not imagining John from accounting with the geeky pocket protector.

The way Ryan’s team tweets about their product and talk about it makes you WANT to keep listening. It’s enjoyable! You’re having a good time. You almost forget that you’ve fallen prey to content marketing.

The best advertisements don’t look or sound like advertisements. Aviation Gin’s TV spots are entertaining. You WANT to watch them.

And the Peloton Wife spot was no different. Ryan’s team responded quickly to a cultural moment and capitalized on Peloton’s misfortune. This responsiveness allowed them to hack culture and stay top of mind during the holiday season.

Spontaneity, guts, comic relief– the themes of this moment embodied the emotions they wanted to have associated with the Aviation brand. Brand affinity is all about what someone feels when they hear your name.

Courageous marketing feats aren’t the only way Ryan develops brand affinity. He does it on a micro level, as well.

When one deaf Twitter user pointed out that people like her are missing out on the fun because of a lack of captions, Ryan took her feedback and responded promptly with an edited video. Check out the exchange:


Cryssie was delighted. I mean, RYAN REYNOLDS responded to HER. I’d be freaking out.



Now, Cryssie might not have went to her nearest LCBO and bought a bottle of Aviation Gin right away BUT… the next time she’s walking down the gin aisle I think we both know which brand she’s gonna be looking for.

Brand affinity starts on a 1:1 basis. If your customers feel listened to, they’re much more likely to return the favour. It’s the golden rule, folks– treat others how you want to be treated.

People don’t want a big bad corporation to speak down to them. They want companies to feel like the hilarious friend they’re catching up with on a Thursday night. Aviation Gin is that friend, and the Peloton MCU is their inside joke. Inside jokes build brand affinity.

How You Can Do This For Your Brand


You and I are mere mortals. We can’t have Ryan’s charm or his smile (or his wife… or his career… or his general life). But, we can observe the marketing masterclass he puts on. Here are 3 things you can do to start building brand affinity today.

Listen to Your Customers

Every business has a Cryssie. That one customer that wants to love you, but feels left out.

Connect with them and listen. Engaging your customers and hearing how they perceive your brand is primary data you can use to grow. Pay attention to what excites them. Take note of what they ignore.

Companies with high brand affinity excel in customer service. You’ll have a much easier time attracting new customers if you’re doing a good job at retaining your current customers.

Your customers won’t always tell you the whole picture, though. That’s why it’s equally as important to listen to the cultural overlaps where your customer hangs out (figuratively).

Respond to Culture

Aviation Gin’s target demographic was glued to the Peloton commercial. It’s where their eyes naturally were.

Many brands make the mistake of being the dude on the corner of a busy intersection twirling a sign around. They’re sweating profusely to divert drivers (your customers) off the path they’re on and make a hard left.

Brands claw to turn attention their way. Aviation Gin goes to where the attention already is.

Your customer isn’t one dimensional. The relationship they have with you doesn’t have to begin and end directly with the product you’re selling. People’s interests and desires are deep and wide. Understand what intersections your customer spends their attention at and meet them there.

Add a Personal Touch

If I screenshot one of your recent tweets and removed your handle from the picture, would someone who’s seeing that for the first time be able to tell the tweet’s from you? If you can swap out your brand name with a competitor’s and the message doesn’t feel wrong, that’s a problem.

Let your personality shine through in your copywriting, your website design, and your customer interactions. The more human you can make your brand feel, the easier time you’ll have nurturing brand affinity.

Delight Customers, Earn Promoters


First impressions are lasting impressions. If a prospective customer’s first interaction with you wasn’t memorable, they won’t think of you. It’s much more noteworthy to make a customer laugh or cry, than to be forgotten about.

The only thing you want customers to forget, is that you’re an ad.

Share this with a marketing nerd.

Thank you for reading.

Help us reduce our bounce rate further and read our last blog post: How To Design Your Website For Success in 2020

Your Website is a Salesperson

How to Design Your Website for Success in 2020

By | Web Design | No Comments

Is it too late to wish you a happy new year?

Regardless – it’s a new decade! What an exciting time. You’ve wrapped up your 2019 and have big plans for your business in 2020. First on your list is probably revamping your website. 

By now, you probably have a pretty good idea of what makes your website sell or the areas you need to work at to make it sell.

But wait! Ever wonder why it’s so important to have a well-designed website in the first place? I mean if your products are good then why worry? Well, here’s a quick answer to those whys!

Your Website is Your Organization’s Most Important Salesperson


If you’re a restaurant, your website can help increase bookings. If you’re a lawyer, your website can help you earn more clients. If you’re a speaker, your website can help you get more gigs. Regardless of what your business model is, your website represents you. And you would certainly want to appear the best to your customers.

The more appealing your website is, the more it works for you.

And that is what we want you to take away from this blog. “It doesn’t matter how good your product is! If it doesn’t look good, it’s simply going to waste”.

Don’t look at your website as merely a static poster for your business. Think about how you can get your website to work for you in 2020. No idea how to achieve that? Don’t worry, because we here at DxM Creative are happy to help!

So without further ado, let’s get right into it and make your website work for you!

What Does a Successful Website Design Look Like?


A website has been designed successfully if it generates more leads for you and ultimately closes sales. Your website is designed well if it can front load some of your pain for you. It fits in perfectly with your buyer journey and provides the right information to the right person at the right time.

And how should one go about achieving that? 

Well, the easiest way to answer this question is to look at successful websites with similar business models to yours. Ask yourself– what makes their website more appealing than yours? I know you don’t want your website to look similar to your competitor and copying, well, always seems wrong. What you’re looking for is to find the notable edge in your website. Something that’s not only unavailable in your competitors, but also hard for them to imitate!

And the key to doing that is to have everything that your competitor has and more. So consider grabbing a paper and a pen, have your website open in of the tabs and then open all the top competitor websites and observe! All those big and small features that they have and you don’t. This will give you a pretty good area to start at and make your website excel!

How to Design a Successful Website


Besides the common benchmarking, we have plenty of other tips that can make your website stand out!

Building the Buyer Persona

The first step is to revisit your buyer personas. Who are you selling to? What do they require? What kind of services do they like? What attracts them the most? How do they like being spoken to? What are their pains?

You might feel that this is unrelated to your website and has more to do with your sales strategy. But remember, your website is also a member of your sales team! Sales strategy is where you decide what type of customers or markets you are going to target. But the next step is to make those customers know that they are the ones being targeted. Hence, it becomes important for your website to feel like home and serve the type of customers you want. Make it about them. 

Understanding The Buyer Journey

Now that you have an idea who the buyer is and what your website should be like to retain that buyer, the next step involves knowing how people” become “buyers”. This is known as The Buyer’s Journey.

The Buyer’s Journey is categorized into three stages. These are;

  1. The Awareness Stage
  2. The Consideration Stage
  3. The Decision Stage.

It is important for you to understand each of the stages people go through in order to really understand their behaviour. Let’s discuss these stages one by one so we can provide the perfect platform for each of them.

Awareness Stage

The awareness stage is when buyers feel the need to pursue a question. They become aware of a problem they’re facing.

Do I need a particular product or service that can add value to me? It’s the first stage where your potential buyer is born! Whether you’re an online bakery or a campaign runner, your job begins from the very moment the buyer realizes that they need what you offer.  

This begins the brutal race between you and all your competitors. Every one of them is fighting to gain that potential buyer. This is where the buyers enter the Consideration phase.

Consideration Stage

In this stage, buyers have finally decided to address the question and are out there looking for the right match. Congratulations! They are near. But now what?

Now it is our job to offer exactly what the buyer needs on a platform that clearly matches their taste. Only then will the buyer consider you in favour of all the other competitors and move on to the final stage.

Decision Stage

Here is when buyers have decided what solution they are willing to take to solve their problem. So, if you have succeeded in the first two stages of your buyer’s journey then you have exactly what the buyer is looking for. Here is where all those efforts will bear fruit!

So before revamping your website, you need to closely understand each of these stages that your buyer will go through. Only then can you hope to make the roaming window shoppers into customers ready to pull their wallets out.

Rise of The Planet of Social Media

And since we’re talking about how customers behave, here is another insight DxM has noticed in its days on the internet. Nowadays, people don’t generally roam around purposelessly on the web browser. They do that on social media– research says 142 minutes a day! 

It’s way easier to get people to visit your Facebook page than your website. If your business model involves selling points on social networks, where buyers can make a purchase directly from your social pages, then that’s not a problem for you. However, if you want people to visit your website, we’ve got some advice for you

What can your users get on your website that they can’t get on your social profiles?

This can be anything from detailed information about products, free value in the form of blog posts (like this one!), product comparisons to make their decision easier, etc. Anything that intrigues people to know more about you and what you offer, or even makes their life a little bit easier!

If your website is where the Consideration phase, and then ultimately the Decision phase of buyers occurs, then these social forums are for the Awareness phase of your buyer’s journey. Your social accounts are an opportunity to build confidence, a positive perception, and engage with your users at an early stage. Your website then serves to meet these expectations when the user is ready. Your users’ journey should feel natural and seamless. Perfect synergy between your social forums and your website is the way to achieve that.

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’ve taken the first step towards your 2020 new year’s resolution of a successful redesign. 

Give us a shout if DxM Creative can help.