Building tomorrow’s brands
There’s no doubt that brands face an uncertain future.
Some marketing leaders are trying to figure out what “brand” even means in a world of algorithms, dynamic creative and perfected 1-to-1 messaging. Others are worried about machine learning; how do you design an effective plan when a voice-controlled device can recommend the cheapest product at the exact moment it is asked (and deliver it the same day)? What we know for sure is that every successful marketer wants to build brands that will remain vibrant and relevant: no one wants to spend their time harvesting dying franchises.
In this edition of BLINK, we address these and several related issues. We also hope to share our best advice.
Let’s first take a look at consumer behavior. Voice assistants such as Siri, Cortana and Alexa are changing the traditional path to purchase, and the increasing number of connected devices in our homes are merging the points of engagement and transaction. To respond successfully, brands must focus on three things:
DATA. It’s often said that data is the new oil, but understanding and leveraging it properly is a complex task. Mexico’s Zohar Plan writes that some brands in Latin America are using data to target consumers in new and clever ways.
PURPOSE. Consumers need reasons to believe, and Camilo Plazas discusses a number of ways that brands are working to create a better world. Shell has proven itself to be such a company, and senior marketer Chris Hayek explains how his team is educating consumers while selling product and keeping things interesting.
INNOVATION. Finally, while brands have always had to evolve to keep pace with changing trends, staying ahead of consumer needs has become an essential skill in the digital age. Hannah Mirza explains why having a formal innovation program can help leaders balance risk with the vast potential that comes with experimentation.
One organization already on this innovation journey is Mars. As Gary Arora tells us, its Launchpad initiative is helping the company connect with start-ups and develop novel marketing solutions quickly and successfully.
Building brands for the future will require marketers to learn new skills, and – in some cases – restructure entire businesses. It won’t be easy… but it will be necessary.
We can help, and I hope you find our thoughts useful and inspiring.
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