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Developing Infrastructure for Modern Brands

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Modern Brand Infrastructure August 2015 2640 Lyndale Ave. South | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408 | T +1 612 279 1400 | www.zeusjones.com


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Thomas Bruce (trbpix) on Flickr licensed under creative commons An operating model for modern brands. How can a modern brand think about and organize to accomplish all of its necessary operations? What are the different channels, disciplines and programs required to bring a brand to life entirely through its actions? Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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The central issue: 
 Even today, brands are challenged by scale. How can actions speak louder than words when words are still often required to scale actions? Image via http://bristram.blogspot.com/ Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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A viral/WOM model simply replaces one lottery for another. Generating a viral hit is as fraught with uncertainty and risk as developing the next 1984 spot. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Social networks are rapidly devolving into the networks of old Facebook is now a mass reach medium, interaction is minimal at best. Scale via social is next to impossible to generate without paid advertising. Image via forbes.com Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Free, mass communication has not materialized as promised. This is why paid media continues to proliferate and advertising remains the business model of the majority of digital startups. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Yet some of the most successful brands play by a different set of rules. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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ONE-WAY TWO-WAY CONTINUOUS DAVID OGILVY ERIC RYAN HOWARD SCHULTZ Sound an alarm! Advertising, not deals, builds brands. COMMUNICATIONS Building a brand is about a thousand little new touches. Consistency is only for liars. INTERACTIONS Authentic brands don't emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does. EXPERIENCES Branding evolving from comms to experiences It’s clear that branding has evolved. Messages are being replaced by interactions and campaigns are giving way to comprehensive experiences. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Existing Behavior CONSUMER Some brands build around existing user behavior For many, the starting point in “brand experience” is understanding a person’s existing behavior and then attempting to fit into their life. However, this is still done primarily through content or fighting for attention Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Desired Behavior Existing Behavior Functional advantage CONSUMER Commoditized Great brands think about desired behavior They understand what people would like to do, even when the people don’t know it themselves. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Unique Rituals Desired Behavior Existing Behavior Highly differentiated Functional advantage CONSUMER Commoditized They deliver desired benefits in a differentiated way Modern brands enable new behaviors and create rituals based upon delivering unique experiences. They don’t simply fit into a person’s existing day, they enhance it in proprietary ways. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Eyewear becomes seasonal Desired benefits delivered in differentiated ways Brands like Starbucks, Uber and Warby Parker have created unique and highly branded rituals around enabling new possibilities and behaviors for their customers Zeus Jones All rights reserved Image via http://on-select.com/ Defined a new lifestyle Image via milanocard.it Image via slashgear.com Created a coffee culture


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Image via 1wallpaper.ne Not simply better ideas, 
 better infrastructure. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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A personal dressing room Infrastructure is key to their unique delivery Their delivery infrastructure is key to modern brands’ experience. None of these companies would be what they are today if they delivered over the same infrastructure as their competition. Zeus Jones All rights reserved Image via pingwest.com Your private driver Image via connexient.com Image via menemshasolutions.com The third space


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Image via Google Existing brand infrastructure forces standardization Infrastructure owners are incentivized to standardize. They are not trying to help you differentiate. They are trying to sell standardized, repeatable blocks of time and space. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Image via wc-news.com Modern brands own their infrastructure Modern brands are built on top of ideas, platforms and ecosystems that let them communicate, interact, service and sell without having to pay an intermediary. This enables more growth, higher levels of efficiency, and deeper, more permanent relationships with key stakeholders. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Infrastructure lets brands fulfill key tasks directly 1. Aquire and convert new customers 2. Build markets and communicate with mass audiences 3. Engage with existing customers Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Ultimately owned infrastructure lets brands control their destiny They control the experience they deliver They control the way they drive revenue This provides them with huge leverage if and when they deal with a 3rd party channel or paid media Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Elements of modern brand infrastructure


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Infrastructure built upon three different kinds of platforms 1. Growth 2. Mass 3. Loyalty Growth Platform CORE BELIEF & PURPOSE Mass Platform Loyalty Platform Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Loyalty Platforms manage relationships with current users. Largely content and/or services ecosystems Drive engagement with brand, additional usage/ consumption of product is desired result. Loyalty Platform Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Ideal Properties of an Loyalty Platform • Self-sustaining • Based on a value exchange for all parties • Leverages external content creators for efficiency • Assembles brand and partner assets into a cohesive “media” network • Optimized for traffic/SEO and user experience • Can contain both digital and physical assets • Includes a workflow as well as a structural map • Fed by other platforms Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Example: Post It. We have built a comprehensive loyalty platform for Post It that engages multiple segments of users on an ongoing basis It is fueled by a wide range of partners and delivers useful content and services that drive usage and additional purchase. Content extends throughout the owned platforms into partner and retailer platforms. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Image via battlegrounds.redbull.com Gold standard: 
 Red Bull Red Bull have turned content into a revenue stream that rivals (if not beats) the revenue derived from their core product. It doesn’t simply participate in niche sports, it builds and creates them, monetizing the content that is created. Networks like NBC, now pay Red Bull to advertise on their channels. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Growth Ecosystem(s) Growth platforms: deliver marketing benefits as an effect of remarkable operations Operations as marketing and vice-versa Drive revenue and operational enhancements while also delivering marketing benefits Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Properties of a Growth Platform • Based upon an operational asset • Built on an exchange of value • Usage builds the strength of that asset • An acquisition tool - often generates WOM • Engages collaboration partners • Acts as the primary growth engine for the company • Delivers marketing benefits as a collateral benefit Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Example: virtuwell Mobile interface to existing service makes diagnostic logic transparent and accessible Has rapidly grown to encompass a significant portion of overall visits Created entirely new usage scenarios and a timely acquisition channel Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Image via bloomberg.com Gold standard: Uber app Exposes a key part of operations - fleet scheduling. Drives operational efficiency as it offloads scheduling onto drivers and customers. Delivers marketing benefits through delight and ease of use. Viral/talk value built into the core use case. Drives penetration through mobility of customer base Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Growth platforms can be built around a host of different operational assets And can deliver a multitude of different marketing benefits Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Operations Assets Marketing benefits Efficiency Awareness Competitive advantage Engagement New functionality Advocacy R&D Consideration HR Preference Sales Choice Logistics Customer service Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Mass Platforms aggregate audiences for reach Mass Ecosystem Almost exclusively a communications medium Creates enough mass and interest for earned media to drive a significant portion of scale. Key task is creating demand to be fulfilled by other platforms in the brand infrastructure Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Properties of a Mass Platform • Aggregate advocates and mass media to drive huge scale • Operate on the company’s calendar not a media calendar • Work in pulses or bursts that are timed to big news • Often have their own marketing program built around them • Highly connected to other platforms Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Example: BWP Through our Better With Pets Summit, we have built a platform that engages the industry, bloggers and press to help share key Purina innovations and values. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Gold standard: Apple Events Since pulling out of Macworld in 2008, Apple has tuned its own events and announcements to a fine edge. Teasers, releases, conventions, rituals and importantly, huge amounts of PR, and earned media mean Apple really doesn’t need to advertise. In fact it spends a fraction on paid media compared to rivals like Samsung. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Different brands will have different infrastructure needs Growth Platform CORE BELIEF & PURPOSE These platforms will vary in size and importance depending upon the nature of the brand and its needs. In some cases, brands may not need all three platforms Mass Platform Loyalty Platform Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Infrastructure streamlines modern marketing complexity. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Image via Nike Campaigns still have an important role Campaigns and “big ideas” still have a place, but they operate primarily on the brand’s owned platforms rather than requiring rented media space. (Campaigns can also be used to build infrastructure when it doesn’t exist.) Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Growth Platform Segmented channels simplify planning Interactions, experiences, messages and behaviors can be assigned to one or more platforms. Importantly platforms are also not asked to do things that they simply can’t. Promotions: Loyalty and Growth New Products: Mass & Loyalty Etc. CORE BELIEF & PURPOSE Mass Platform Loyalty Platform Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Infrastructure enables short and long-term efficiency. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Marketing expenditures have investment components Marketing programs that run on infrastructure, also improve the strength, efficiency or effectiveness of that infrastructure. Overall marketing expenditures can decrease over time, or similar sized investments can deliver larger returns. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Infrastructure Double Jeopardy? Brands with strong infrastructures spend less on marketing and enjoy greater differentiation and distinctiveness. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Infrastructure building requires unique skills. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Campaigns Infrastructure Short-term thinking Long-term thinking Attention as currency Utility as currency Purely creative Strategic and creative Communications focus Business/marketing focus Tactical innovation required Fundamental innovation required Crowded space for agencies Very little competition Commoditized Unique and valuable Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Brand-centric development and consumer-centric development Brand-centric and consumer-centric development need to be balanced. At the infrastructure level, brandcentricity may lead. Growth Platform CORE BELIEF & PURPOSE Mass Platform At the program level, consumer-centricity will lead Always-On Ecosystem Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Creativity & cultural alignment Functional excellence for infrastructure is not enough. VRBO and airbnb have similar infrastructure. The winners will capture people’s imagination and build upon big ideas in modern culture. Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Ultimately infrastructure makes modern brands more tangible and more valuable Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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OWNED BY CONSUMER CO-CREATED OWNED BY COMPANY DAVID OGILVY JOHN GRANT ZEUS JONES The intangible sum of a product’s attributes. BRAND AS IDEAS The sum of the great ideas used to build that brand BRAND AS ACTIONS The sum of the assets and networks that are owned by the brand BRAND AS NETWORKS Modern brands evolving from ideas to networks Rather than becoming less important or abstract, we believe brands are becoming more tangible and more real. Modern brands are networks of assets and relationships that are “hard-coded” into place Zeus Jones All rights reserved


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Thank You


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