Brand experience innovation is anything a brand does in culture to bring its purpose to life.
It’s more important than ever for marketers. Consumers today are far more interested in what a brand does than what a brand says. They remember how brand experiences make them feel, and link those feelings to the brand.
Brand experience is how brands make a meaningful contribution to culture. Being innovative with brand experience allows brands to differentiate and deliver their purpose in a refreshing way that engages consumers.
Without brand experience innovation, new products or services can have limited impact, especially in mature markets where competitors can replicate quickly and people are already spoilt for choice.
We came up with 5 “must dos” which businesses should follow for successful brand experience innovation:
1. Brands must have 100% clarity on the brand purpose and character. Brand purpose is why you exist. Brand character is who you are as a brand – the values and beliefs that determine how you behave. Clarity here is a crucial foundation for any brand activity, and particularly for brand experience innovation. It provides direction on the type of experience that you want to create for your customers, and how to do it in a way that is unique to your brand.
2. Deeply understand your target consumer and the culture that surrounds them. Knowing what is important to them, the tensions that they experience, allows you to identify how your brand can make a valued contribution to that culture. Credibly resolving the tensions that exist means you can create valued brand experiences that build vibrancy into your brand in a meaningful way. The Color Run is a global phenomenon because it tapped into a cultural tension (we all know we should go for a run, but it’s so lonely and boring) and resolved it by injecting fun into a shared experience.
3. Creating a mission for your brand focuses your attention and effort on a specific goal. The most powerful brand experiences are focused on a single goal, avoiding over-complication and helping consumers to instantly understand the brand’s point of view. A mission is something your brand has a right to do, that will bring value to your consumer’s lives. It should be audacious and stretching, but also tangible and real. This mission creates coherence across every brand experience you create, ensuring that they all build towards bringing your purpose to life. The commitment that Always has made to building self-esteem among young women during puberty is a fantastic example of a brand on a mission.
4. Understand the key moments of truth along the customer journey, and build your brand experience to deliver at these moments. Every customer has a journey with your brand, both holistically and over time. Bringing value to people’s lives in the key moments that matter drives engagement with the brand. It’s a great way to demonstrate that the brand understands and cares about its customers. Brand experience innovation can entertain, solve problems or create new utility across the journey. IKEA’s delivery and furniture building service recognizes that their customer journey does not end when they leave the store, but only when the furniture is built and being used at home.
5. Focus on growth in the long term. Brand experience innovation creates meaningful relationships between people and brands that endure over time. It creates strong perceptions about brands in the minds of consumers. While brand experiences may not always have an immediate commercial payoff, the value comes from playing a vibrant role in culture, constantly re-engaging consumers using innovative approaches, and driving consumer advocacy of your brand. It’s long term brand value that you’re building.
Inside the Midas Awards® with Deb Ryan, Executive Director
Question: The Midas Awards® is celebrating its 15th year of honoring the World’s Best Financial Advertising℠, in your opinion, to what do you attribute the longevity and success of this competition?
Deb Ryan: The longevity comes from the quality of the work being submitted every year, combined with the expertise of the Midas Award Grand Jury. Having the work judged by agency leaders and incredibly well-respected industry experts from around the globe lays the foundation for the winners to know, with confidence, that they’ve earned their Midas Award.
Question: This is your inaugural year at the helm of the Midas Awards, what are your goals to continue the legacy of Midas and expand its global footprint?
Deb Ryan: I’m really excited and motivated to continue the fine job done by my predecessors, while making sure that we’re exploring the financial advertising landscape with open minds and open eyes. So much attention goes to new mediums (which is warranted), that we must not lose sight of traditional methodologies that are still netting the results desired. It’s easy to get caught up in the shiny new object in the room, and it’s my job to make sure we’re covering all of the industry bases.
Question: What excites you about financial advertising?
Deb Ryan: The challenge of doing impactful work within an industry where the message isn’t always easy to understand right off the bat. Often times a product explanation needs to be woven into the message in this space. It’s more difficult than creating campaigns for a baseball team or a chocolate bar. This is why it’s so amazing to see the quality of the work we judge at the Midas Awards.
Question: What are the criteria for recruiting the Midas Awards Grand Jury? What mix of disciplines do you aim for in your global jury?
Deb Ryan: The Grand Jury is really the most important part of what we do. We have to get that right and the mix needs to include individuals who are well accomplished (obviously), but also open-minded to the new media world we live in, without holding prejudices towards some old-school methodologies that brands still utilize effectively. I absolutely love the mix of brand, agency CEO’s and creatives, as well as some of the individuals who have been in the trenches at their places of work. The success or failure of advertising campaigns has had a direct effect on their day-to-day transactional jobs at some point in their careers, which provides perspective. Brand Managers, copywriters and strategists are the lifeblood of our jury, but adding brokers and business managers to the mix provides so much value to the process.
Question: Which trends do you foresee influencing this year’s Midas Awards entries?
Deb Ryan: I’d love to pull back the curtain a bit to see how social data intelligence is being utilized. We now have the ability to learn so much about the consumers we’re after, which leads to precision in the messaging and the ability/need to be able to turn on a dime when needed. It adds to the challenge and makes for much better work in my opinion. Other trends that we have been seeing are Sustainability, Local focus and Loyalty.
Question: How important is story and personality to the brand and how does it influence consumers?
Deb Ryan: It’s incredibly important. When a brand can touch a consumer through content that builds trust, you’re winning the battle. Consumers want to know that you, as a brand, understand them and feel their pain. Proper content creation has to be able to do that without feeling fake, or brands run the risk of looking cold and manipulative. It’s not an easy balance to strike, and it’s up to the Midas Awards Grand Jury to figure out who does it best.
Question: How is financial marketing adapting to the social savvy technologically adept millennial consumer? Can you share any examples of financial campaigns that are successfully connecting with millennials?
Deb Ryan: Those millennials can be somewhat tricky. As a group, they really need to see that a brand cares about them as people, and the planet we inhabit. They’re so influenced by the connection between the corporate world and causes that are important to them, that brands need to really show that they’re not only there to help them through important decisions in life, but are also good stewards of the planet. The work Accenture does on behalf of Save the Children, and The Hartford has done for a long time through its sponsorship of the Paralympic Games serve as fine examples of how a brand can connect to the millennial mindset through cause marketing that connects with them deeply.
Question: How has digital and mobile changed the way consumers connect with financial brands?
Deb Ryan: We live in a world where instantaneous, seamless transactions are expected. Consumers need tangible proof that their needs will be met by the brands they do business with, or they will absolutely take their business elsewhere. It’s really on the brands to have their digital infrastructure up to snuff, and/or have the dexterity to fix issues quickly so as to gain consumer trust. Without that, you’re in trouble.
Question: What do you personally do to stay on top of the trends and evolutions in the industry today?
Deb Ryan: I still read the trades daily to keep up on a lot, and also frequent the websites of the companies I personally do business with to see what they’re doing to innovate. There are also many great newsletters and blogs that keep me up-to-date. I love reading about content strategies discussed by the Content Marketing Institute, as they seem to have it all covered by experts who know their stuff.
Question: What makes a campaign worthy of the Grand Midas?
Deb Ryan: When the campaign translates easily and engages several important mediums simultaneously, you’ve got a winner! Last years’ Allstate #MAYHEMSALE was genius. It was both funny and alarming, and not only tied social and TV seamlessly, but it utilized the Sugar Bowl sponsorship as a key part of the plan. Amazing work and absolutely worthy of a Grand Midas!!!
Question: Do you have any inside advice for someone entering the 2016 Midas Awards?
The channel has embarked on an aggressive 360 degree marketing campaign to bring alive its promise of real funny stories from across India for its new mini television series
Sony SAB, the light-hearted family entertainment channel of Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), has undertaken an innovative and unique approach in promoting one of its new shows – ‘Khidki’. What defines the new mini-series is that ‘real’ life funny stories sourced from audiences from all parts of India will be dramatized, developed and adapted for the small screen. With the intention of crowd sourcing such genuine and cherished stories from viewers, the channel has embarked on a phase-wise campaign to create awareness about the show and invite entries.
‘Khidki’s ongoing publicity campaign has met with considerable success generating a total of 12,345 (twelve thousand and three hundred forty-five stories), thus far! The first phase of this campaign was devised to actively scout for comic content from consumers. From partnering with the micro-blogging site – Twitter to run a contest titled ‘#Tweetyourfunnystory’, to a live Q&A session with the producers of the show JD Majethia and Umesh Shukla on Twitter's video-streaming app Periscope, the channel has pulled out all stops in ensuring that it stokes excitement amongst consumers in sharing some of their funniest stories. Sticking to its promise of presenting viewers ‘interesting, real life stories from every corner of India’, SAB has conducted an activation program in long-distance trains like Rajdhani, Shatabadi and Garib Rath. In addition, SAB has also run multiple promos on its home channel encouraging consumers to upload their funny stories on the microsite.
From ushering the need for people to share some of their heartfelt stories in the first phase of the campaign, SAB has now decided to add momentum to its campaign movement by undertaking initiatives to drive tune-ins for the show in the second phase. Leaving no stone unturned in creating a buzz about the new show, the channel has embarked on a 9-series illustration-based print advertising campaign, each depicting the kind of story that will be featured in Khidki. The 9-insert campaign is being released across 23 national and regional publications. Further, illustration based outdoor hoardings will be put up across 10 towns. A radio jingle sung by Actor Raghubeer Yadav will be played across Hindi speaking market (HSM) stations and local trains.
True to its personality of successfully connecting, entertaining and engaging with viewers, SAB has decided to launch ‘Khidki’ in a manner no different. For a show who’s USP is ‘real’ stories, the channel has decided to ride high on the ‘relatability’ aspect by getting its SAB Family Club members to unveil the show in different cities across India.
‘Khidki’s’ cast will feature a set of recurring actors like Sarita Joshi, Rajeev Mehta and Lubna Salim to name a few who will portray different characters in different stories, along with narration by host JD Majethia, who is also the producer of the show. Each story will be weaved in episodes designed to last for minimum of three to eight episodes, depending on the length of each story.
Khidki premieres on Tuesday, 28th June, every Monday to Friday, 9:30 pm only on SAB TV!
On Sunday, 19th June, at 1 pm and 9 pm
Rosewater, one of the most inspirational survival stories of recent times, will premiere on MN+ this Sunday, 19th June, 2016 at 1pm and 9pm.
Maziar Bahari, the Iranian- Canadian journalist, narrated his dreadful experience in prison, in his book Then They Came For Me, where he wrote about his life when he was detained in Iran for 4 months in 2009. He was arrested under the suspicion of being an American spy. The movie Rosewater is an adaptation of Maziar Bahari’s book which details all the incidents that took place during his imprisonment. Maziar was always blindfolded and the only way he could recognize his captor was through the distinct smell of rosewater that came from him and hence the name of the film, Rosewater.
The film marks the debut of the famous host of The Daily Show, John Stewart, who turned director, producer and screenplay writer for this film. The role of Maziar was played by Gael Gercia bernal, Mexican actor who marked his niche in plays and short films; and the titular role of Rosewater (the captor) or Javadi as they call him in the film, was played by Kim Bodnia, an actor known for Nordic Noir films.
An interesting trivia about the movie is that the actual Maziar Bahari made a cameo appearance in the movie as the man sitting near the camera when his character in the film confesses to his crimes.
Cinépolis India, the 1st and foremost international exhibitor in India, will exclusively showcase Viacom 18 film festival across 5 cities in India. Scheduled from June 11th to June 17th, 2016, the week-long festival will bring back the memories of few handpicked Bollywood movies such as Kahaani, Gangs of Wasseypur 1 & 2 across 5 cities in Cinépolis Andheri in Mumbai, Cinépolis Viviana Mall in Thane, Cinépolis Seasons Mall in Pune, Cinépolis Royal Meenakshi Mall in Bangalore and Cinépolis Shahdra in Delhi.
To bring the best of the movie viewing experience to their audience and to celebrate the successful completion of 5 years of Viacom’s existence, Cinépolis India has exclusively partnered with Viacom 18 for the upcoming film festival. The festival will kick-start with the Bollywood mystery thriller movie “Kahaani” on Day 1 at all the megaplexes and will conclude with Gangs of Wasseypur 1 & 2 on Day 7. The tickets for the festival will be available at all the respective cinemas at their lowest price points. A mix of other inspiring, intense and entertaining movies such as Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Special 26, Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2, Manjhi The Mountainman and Queen will be screened at all multiplexes.
Sharing his views on this strategic partnership, Mr. Devang Sampat, Director – Strategy, Cinépolis India, said, “Cinépolis India has always been at the forefront in promoting and offering a seamless cinema experience for its audience in India. In our endeavor to offer our consumers and movie enthusiasts their favorite Bollywood movies in the theatres once again, we have associated with Viacom 18 to showcase the best of their movies. We are confident that our patrons will enjoy this experience.”
Cinépolis is the fastest growing multiplex chain in India, having reached more than 100 screens organically in less than five years. Cinépolis India currently operates in 39 cities across India and has total of 240 screens running at present. The company has aggressive plans of rolling out 400 screens by 2017.