On day two of the advertising and communications festival, Spikes 2012, Brien noted that the era of information was followed by the era emotion, both of which saw the balance of power with brand owners and manufacturers rather than consumers.
The industry in its current phase, the era of participation, is finally seeing the balance of power shifting in favour of consumers, he noted. That’s why, he advised, brands should operate in an authentic way.
“Right now there is a trust gap,” Brien added, showing data studies that revealed a trust deficiency among consumers. “Truth is timeless and if a truth is well told it will be well shared.”
Brien shared his top five tips on building trust:
Truth #1 – Brands should create value. By value, he wasn’t referring to an economic one, but utility and services. These values have an emotional dimension, he said.
Truth #2 – Brands should create magnetic content, said Brien. He cited the example of Coca-Cola which taps into relevant vernacular to deliver compelling messages. Microsoft’s Kinect is another example of a brand with a compelling message and product that forces consumers to respond.
Truth #3 – Brands should have a purpose. Renowned marketer, Philip Kotler said price, product, place and promotion were key, Brien thinks it’s time to add another element: purpose. “Otherwise you’re brand is just going to get overtaken,” he said. Drawing on research, he said that 90 per cent of generation Y would tell their friends if they experience unjust behaviour from a brand, while 74 per cent of consumers will buy a brand if they believe in what the brand stands for. Finally, 68 per cent of consumers say brands should support good causes. It’s no longer enough to build for yourself and not for the broader society, he said quoting Joe Tripodi, Coca Cola’s CMO.
Truth #4 – Brands should leverage data to create more engaging and effective communication for brands.
Truth #5 – Brands should be opportunistic, because they can. He reinforced the point by showing recent campaigns from MasterCard, which evolved a 15-year-old brand platform, "priceless" to be relevant and localised for today's consumer