Rise of the Rednecks
May 23, 2013 | By David Shephard
What the people of the south can teach us about content marketing
Where have all the beautiful people gone? These days Kardashians are a distant memory and the Housewives can’t muster enough of an audience to cover their hair and makeup costs. Instead our new reality is watching ZZ Top cover bands noodle catfish, shoot water fowl or wrestle alligators. From Honey Boo Boo to Duck Dynasty, the rednecks are cashing in. But what is their secret to success and why are we so fascinated with the redneck culture?
Turn on your TV (or whatever you’re using these days) and you will be sure to find a redneck show no matter the time of day. Honey Boo Boo, Swamp People, My Redneck Vacation and Duck Dynasty are just some of the redneck shows dominating cable TV. The king of redneck ratings is the bearded denizens of the duck call industry from Duck Dynasty who beat out American Idol and Modern Family to cinch the coveted 18-49 year old demographic in their time slot and occupy four of the top twenty cable slots.
Part of their allure is their dogged devotion to their roots. They camouflage everything from their limousines down to their dressing gowns. They eat frog legs from unfortunate amphibians they catch in their pond and stop to inspect road kill for potential barbeque options. Being rich or on television hasn’t changed the way they live their lives at all.
We can take a feather out of their caps when it comes to branding. Many companies transform their brands and culture to suit what they think their audience wants. While tweaking your brand is essential, there’s just no substitute for the real thing. Refining your products makes good business sense, but staying true to your brand and your roots will inspire trust and loyalty in your customers.
Part of the Family
Everyone loves a human interest story. We’ve always been fascinated by other people’s lives which is why the tabloid industry continues to thrive. Being allowed into the homes and lives of redneck families, we get a real sense of who they are. They eat dinners together and pray over Sunday brunch and the cohesiveness of the family unit is a rare commodity in today’s society.
Letting the outside world into your private world is scary and should be entered into with the utmost caution, but it can help your social media campaigns. While religious and political views are bound to meet with controversy (just ask the Chick-fil-A chain), showing your personality and snippets of your life to your clientele makes them feel like they know you and is a vital part of building trust and turning your customers into loyal fans.
Being proud of your country is the first rule of a redneck and they show their patriotism in all its star-spangled glory. If you’re a local business or manufacture products locally, showing your true colours is bound to earn you some brownie points.
Perhaps our fascination with all things redneck is that they are one of the few niches that offer a genuine portrayal of family life rather than a construct. Despite the fact that all those butt cracks and missing teeth may be harder on the eye than a Kardashian, the redneck culture is endearing and enduring. If you want to take a feather from their water fowl of success, then stay true to your roots and your brand.