Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
The rise of new digital and social channels are giving brands the opportunity to create greater engagement with consumers and build stronger customer loyalty than ever before, according to Luxottica’s VP of marketing, Jee Moon.
Marketers should be seeing digital disruption’s impact on how consumers perceive and interact with brands through a positive lens, Moon told CMO in an interview.
“There is a greater propensity for brands to create greater engagement and therefore greater loyalty than ever before,” she said. “You don’t have to dig deep and draw huge budgets for TV campaigns, you can reach them on Facebook for hundreds of dollars, and produce things from a small corner of the office rather than rent a studio.
“These new channels make it easier for smart brands to create brand engagement, provided it’s done in an intelligence and informed way, and with relevance.”
Moon will be joining a panel of industry speakers including Andrew Baxter, CEO at Publicis, and Dan Gregory, CEO of The Impossible Institute, to discuss the changing nature of brand engagement at BrandHook’s Closing the Gap event in Sydney on 23 March.
The event marks the launch of BrandHook founder and CEO, Pip Stock’s new book, Closing the Gap, which looks at how the digital revolution has changed the way consumers interact with brands and the way brand value is defined.
Moon has built her career on joining brands at a time of change and transformation. She was formerly in charge of the Best & Less brand, joining the retailer’s executive team in 2012 to help the organisation find relevance again with consumers.
Prior to that, Moon worked at Westpac, signing up just before its merger with St George. She was tasked with ensuring the banking giant retained relevance in the midst of its newly adopted multi-brand approach, a job that not only encompassed marketing strategy, but also in-store design and corporate culture.
Moon also worked overseas and locally for Vodafone, joining the Australian business when it re-entered the post-paid market.
Having been appointed to her latest role at Luxottica in November, Moon's focus is on rejuvenating the group’s optical brands, the main one of which is OPSM.
“We’ve got this great brand with a long 80-year history, but in recent times it has lost a lot of market share,” she said. “It’s a brand in need of a better definition of what it wants to stand for, then we need to ensure we bring that brand essence through the whole customer experience.”
Moon agreed digital has significantly changed how consumers connect with brands, but claimed the more things change, the more they stay the same, especially when it comes to customer motivations.
“As consumers, we now have far greater tools and information to hand to help make decisions and choices, but ultimately, the reasons why we choose one brand versus another remain pretty consistent,” she claimed.
While these motivations differ by category or industry, Moon said she believed success comes down to getting under the skin of your brand target, which she labelled the “brand muse”. It’s this target consumer she’s now working to define for OPSM.
“It’s about finding that one target, bullseye customer you design your whole brand and experience around,” Moon said. “For example, for Coca-Cola, it’s the spirit of the American teenager. Apple similarly has a tightly defined one, even though so many of us have Apple devices of one sort or another.
“At Best & Less, it was what we called ‘Aspiring Amy’. We spent a lot of time understanding her and creating a whole experience around her.”
In the same way customers have multiple ways to glean information about brands, marketers have as many ways of understanding their customers, Moon said, adding big data and digital customer feedback metrics as a couple of examples.
But for Moon, addressing customers at the relevant, right moment isn’t something that comes down to time of day or path to purchase.
“It’s about really understanding their drivers and being able to tap into them every possible touchpoint,” she said.
Using Best & Less’ target customer muse as an example, Moon said Aspiring Amy’s entire relationship with fashion was that she is interested, but lacks confidence. A large percentage of the retailer’s target market is mums with young children, whose bodies have gone through a lot of change, she pointed out.
“Generating and regaining their confidence in their bodies and interest in fashion was the motivation we were trying to tap into all the way through customer experience,” Moon said.
This approached manifested in everything from the retailer’s catalogues, where jeans were positioned as having a tummy holding panel, to the in-store experience, where the same dress was displayed in two or three ways to emphasis value for money.
“Understanding the customer in this intimate way helps you be relevant at all moments you come into contact with them,” Moon added. “Then it’s for them to determine which is the most relevant channel or interaction.”