While it is essential for brands to leverage digital platforms, they must realise that it’s their brand story above all that allows them to navigate through the fragmented landscape and maintain a deeper connection with their consumer.
One of the pressures organisations experience the most is the need to focus on their digital innovation agenda. Jumping from one new technology to the next, they lose sight of the function each is meant to serve. While it is essential for brands to leverage digital platforms, they must realise that it’s their brand story above all that allows them to navigate through the fragmented landscape and maintain a deeper connection with their consumer. It too often forgotten that storytelling is embedded within our nature.
While some brand’s have managed to create a balance between technology and storytelling in the form of transmedia storytelling (Bing’s Decode campaign run by Droga5 being the prime example), this has not proven to be a long-term solution. What is slowly starting to emerge within the market is a new brand architecture, which is driven by the change in the brand stakeholders. As brands are increasingly able to engage directly with the consumer, the consumer’s role has evolved into that of participant. Brand behaviours are thus beginning to mimic ecosystems. The organisations who have transitioned successfully have put experience and content creation at the forefront of their brand, re-adjusting their business models to cater to these new mechanics which help guide their story.
This brand vision was explored by brand consultancy Wolff Olins. While many companies have turned to product and service integration as a means to capture consumer loyalty and agencies such as R/GA have made facilitating such engagement platforms the core of their business, what Olins proposes is a far deeper consideration of consumer participation and experience. A consideration built around the brand’s story.
The practical implications however are what has kept many organisations from committing to such a transition. Organisations are required to re-think their human resources and internal structure so that they can adapt to a brand architecture that allows for a deeper experience and engagement with the consumer. The basis of this is an understanding of both storytelling and digital.
Brand engagement platforms, such as Backplane, have thus far successfully leveraged data to create more meaningful experiences for their users, dominated by their ability to include the user in the storytelling. Moreover, they have managed to help identify new revenue stream potential for brands through the creative use of data. Still, such platforms have yet to explore the next level of engagement: direct-point-of-purchase. Exploring the dynamics that come with incorporating such a level of engagement into the architecture is something that will help determine the validity and commercial potential of this engagement model. What remains paramount is the ability for organisations to incorporate relevant on and off line touch points within the framework of a greater brand narrative.
Meet other experts on the topic, and check out their ideas in the following video: http://bit.ly/1a04Ke1
Interested in finding out more about building a creative economy? Be sure to attend the MA Innovation Management Grad Show June 19-23 at Central St. Martins College of Arts & Design.