From Saying to Doing
20 Apr 2015|Nina Rahmatallah
Marketing used to be a one-way street. Managed, controlled and structured. Today most brands know that they need to invite consumer participation in order to drive engagement and remain relevant. But it’s the few brands that go beyond this that are the most successful; that don’t just invite consumers in, but actually play a valued and impactful role in people’s lives – that are genuinely useful, meaningful, entertaining and immersive. In short, brands that actually do stuff for their audience.
These successful brands have an active purpose sitting right at the very core of their brand architecture, which they demonstrate through actions, not just words. And these actions live through every touchpoint expressing the brand character and personality.
Active, purpose-driven brands place as much emphasis on consumer behaviours and relevant content as on their communications. They identify the potential to go beyond the functional benefits of their product or service to create whole ecosystems of brand experience. The impetus to ‘do’ something of value drives innovation, priorities and insight into customer relationships and journeys.
Dove, Nike and Red Bull are all good but overused examples of brands that do this well. Lego is another example I’m getting increasingly excited about. Lego is single-mindedly focused on inventing the future of play.
The brand has used this ‘doing mindset’ to build an ecosystem of products, technology, platforms and content and extend its relevance to kids of all ages brilliantly. As a result they are experiencing growth globally with $273 million first-half profits in 2014 on revenue of $2.03 billion.
Ever increasingly brands and consumers are demanding more of each other. And brands that give more to their consumers get more back. Successful brands recognise that when a consumer buys their product, it’s not the end of the relationship – it’s just the beginning. It’s nothing short of a re-invention of the customer engagement process.
Social media offers a unique opportunity to communicate inspiration and education to consumers post purchase, offering an exclusive window into the world of the brand. It’s also a key channel to really propel the brand experience and retain customer loyalty in a way that other channels simply can’t.
Some food brands such as Philadelphia and Lurpak are particularly good at this. Both build a whole world of content through numerous online channels and social media to keep their consumers interested and coming back for more, successfully delivering on demonstrating useful and meaningful values. Lurpak Cook’s Range – Adventure Awaits video has over 700,000 views on YouTube, the theme is brought to life through recipes on their website. While Philadelphia has exhaustive Pinterest boards filled will visually inspiring ways to use Philadelphia, as well as a mobile app to fill you with ideas while walking down the supermarket aisles.
Department stores are also a good example; Selfridges give their nearly 276K twitter followers previews of what is coming to their stores, as well as an exclusive view of their celebrity launches. And Debenhams have a Beauty Club that gives customers exclusive discounts via social media, and involves their most loyal customers in sneak preview events and trialing of new products, extending and elaborating the brand experience from first point of purchase to beyond.
Giving privy information and offering elite discounts and gifts is well received amongst the customer, retains brand loyalty and makes it easier to tie back customer behaviour.
Reaching out at every touchpoint to access valuable emotional, and cultural, connections is crucial as the channels fragment through the customer journey and competition proliferates. Gaining consumer interaction and awareness can equal as much value as the actual product or service itself. So it’s important to get it right.
Critically the first step to build an effective purposeful and valued brand campaign system, that leverages digital channels, is to map out and understand the consumer journey. Whilst it is much easier to interrupt that journey thanks to the digital world, it is also much easier to turn people off if done so at the wrong time. Brands need to take the time to understand where the moments of risk are; where they shouldn’t interrupt the journey and where they may have the permission to.
If brands find a way to position their interruptions as something of value for their consumers (rather than of value to the brand / themselves) they will stand the best chance of success in building strong consumer relationships.
Notably successful brands put their consumers first and consciously think about what the benefits are for their consumers.
Changing Marketing Landscape
It’s a fair bet there’s no-one left in marketing today who isn’t constantly reminded how fast our industry landscape is changing. It’s like a jungle – some elements grow at pace while others diminish – a whirlwind of constant change. We’ve highlighted certain shifts and behaviours to navigate through this challenging landscape and what it means for marketing thinking and actions. Find our free interactive mobile app here which contains in detail 7 shifts you should be aware of: http://avshifts.added-value.com/