One of the most critical factors to successful branding is knowing your audience – understanding them. Speaking to them in a way that demonstrates – “you get them.” Dove has done an amazing job of this over the years. Check out the Real Beauty Sketches video with over 27,000,000 views since being posted less than 2 weeks ago. They did an international research study in which they determined that only 2% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. Astonishing! But if you are a woman, you know instinctively this is true. For over 6 years, Dove has used real women, not models, and demonstrated beauty we are not used to seeing – women who have grey hair, who are over weight, who don’t have perfect skin. And yet they are beautiful. It’s easy to see. In 2006, they produced this video in response to banning overly thin models in Spain on fashion runways. This insight has led to relevant communication that has served their brand well. Did it translate to sales? Absolutely. I have to admit I was so moved by what they were doing that even I began buying their products.