Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?
There are six core behaviours brands are using to successfully navigate the impact of technology on human experience and consumer interactivity, Landor’s executive director of South East Asia and Japan, Simon Bell, claims.
Speaking at the branding agency’s ‘Man versus Robot’ breakfast in Sydney last week, Bell said recent research into how organisations play in an environment that’s digitally and customer-fuelled had identified six attributes brands have taken up to lesser or greater degrees.
The first, principles, is about aligning to a consumer cause and improving existing services. As an example, Bell pointed to Money Without Borders, a digital startup whose premise is to help consumers avoid steep international banking and money transfer fees by revealing these charges.
“The company is very open and principled about what it stands for and what others shouldn’t be doing,” Bell said.
The second pillar is adaptive, and for Bell, food delivery service, Deliveroo, is a great illustration of a brand doing just this. Not only has it partnered with premium restaurants that haven’t traditionally delivered food to at-home consumers, the company is also looking to embracing new product lines, such as alcohol, as well as emerging technologies to aid the delivery process, such as drones and driverless cars.
“Deliveroo is being quite adaptive in how it sees the world, but particularly how as a brand it’s trying to embrace the future, and it’s an interesting brand to watch,” Bell said.
Third on the list is open, and as an example, Bell highlighted sporting apparel brand, Under Armour. The brand invites other brands to use its fitness app technology platform, UA Record, that it has created, and there’s also a feature where users are alerted to local sporting matches in their area and invited to join.
“This is about using the app for building community,” Bell said.
Landor’s fourth pillar is responsible, or what many in the market now refer to as purpose-driven branding. Bell said a great example is online retailer, Zady, which is focused on reversing the fast fashion culture and increased consumer spend on more clothes at a lesser quality, by selling clothing that is sustainably and ethically produced. To do this, the brand is investing heavily in owning the full supply chain, from how clothes are made to how they’re sold and distributed.
Multichannel was the fifth common trait successful brands have embraced, and Bell suggested Nintendo’s resurrection as a location-based augmented reality game through Pokemon Go was a great illustration of a brand that has traversed multiple spaces. Prior to this, Nintendo had already been expanding out of its traditional video game space to offer toys, comics and TV cartoon.
“Nintendo has now embraced this world of augmented reality, location-based mobile engagement and it’s interesting to see what’s going on as brands start to use these new technologies,” Bell commented.
The sixth and final brand behaviour for Landor is global. Bell said Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, was a shining example of the power of global reach and engagement, and was quickly earning popularity not just for being a progressive leader, but as a brand “doing something interesting”, he said.
“We’re talking to brands at the moment about how we use those principles to work in this world of opportunity,”Bell added.