Bringing missions to life
A media playbook for future brands
Brands are the new players on the socio-political stage. The loss of confidence in the press and the political system demands more prominence from brands.
Take Patagonia. The world-renowned active wear company has changed its official mission statement to reflect its ultimate goal: “We’re in business to save our home planet”. To bring this mission statement to life they launched Patagonia Action Works across Europe in 2019, a digital platform to help protect the planet by enabling users to volunteer skills and time, help with local events, and donate money to nearby causes.
Brands are becoming not just the bearers of products and services but, increasingly - experiences. As human life is becoming increasingly digital, unique brand experiences are becoming a differentiating factor to help brands stand out against their competitors.
Every year on November 11, Chinese e-retailer Alibaba turns the world’s biggest mobile commerce event into an incomparable shopping gala with live and video streamed acts that have included Mariah Carey, Miranda Kerr and the Cirque du Soleil. With a combination of mobile tactics including gamification, couponing and community buying, Alibaba achieves unrivaled success, each year beating the sales figures of the year before.
For future brands in transformation, there should no longer be a divide between branding and performance. All media must be seen as a commerce opportunity, which doesn’t end after the sale.
The prerequisite for achieving this is a change of perspective, both for media agencies and for customers. Media has always been responsible for sales, but new are the increasing possibilities to better understand the concrete, measurable influence of advertising in the different phases up to purchase and repurchase. The new data chain makes it possible to react more quickly and optimize investments.
There are three key shifts in perspective required by brands and agencies in order to be successful with media:
#1 FOCUSING ON WALLETS RATHER THAN EYEBALLS
Transaction and subscription platforms are becoming increasingly important. In the brand experience industry, entertainment and consumption are increasingly merging.
Amazon, Spotify and others form a new generation of media disrupters with their transaction and subscription platforms. Spotify, for example, generates most of its income via its premium subscribers, in contrast with the more traditional ad-supported business models that YouTube and Facebook employ.
In the future, a lively activation of recurring, brand-specific shopping experiences will replace visual contact as the central indicator of media strategies. In order to be sustainably successful in the market, media agencies will work harder to build brand experience into shopper moments.
#2 MOVING FROM ‘MOBILE FIRST’ TO ‘MOBILE ONLY’
A perspective change to “mobile only” refers to the mindset that brands and agencies need to adopt in order to be truly successful, using the mobile device as a connecting element throughout the entire customer journey.
Look at how Nike brought graffiti art on city walls into stores in Sao Paolo. The city's most famous sprayers augmented their artwork and sprayed Air-Max sneakers onto their famous graffiti characters. When standing in front of the artwork, the sneakers were available for purchase for audiences via the Nike app, transforming a work of art into a shopping occasion.
With the power to disrupt the marketplace, immersive shopping experiences are important reminders that future trade and commerce will take place anywhere – in the physical world, on a device or in a virtual reality.
#3 SURVIVING THE WORLD OF NEW CONSUMER DEMANDS
Spoilt by the Amazon “one-click” order and sub-24-hour delivery, consumers’ need for instant gratification is stronger than ever, both on and offline.
What was once special is the new norm, with companies providing unique, personalized experiences to their customers; Nike lets you design your own sneakers, Cadbury makes you a personalized bar, and Spotify automatically delivers a personalized playlist every week.
With this redesign of the product experience, brands have the opportunity to give consumers exactly what they want, influencing their purchases through media touchpoints. To succeed in this new world, it’s crucial to realize technology not only changes how people buy, but also what they buy.
Making it happen
All points of contact, personal relevance, attitudes and unique, differentiating experiences are important for brands to consider as they undergo transformation.
For companies, this means that while in the past, media was just a small part of the overall marketing organization, today it must be regarded as an overarching discipline at the heart of a consumer-centric business strategy.
Media must be understood as a commerce opportunity, using data and technology to create experiences and manage relationships, tailored to the needs of the individual consumer.
It’s vital for organizations to start playing by the rules of the media transformation playbook. After all, brands are no longer defined by how they are seen, but by how consumers experience them.