I think a lot of brands are wondering what to do in this new kind of ecosystem with Amazon and, you know, Amazon’s a top ten cool millennial brand now but on your own channels, do something that they would never do.
Branding that mixes purpose, storytelling and emotion is emerging as brands try to stand out, said Winston Binch, chief digital officer at agency Deutsch.
“It is a challenging time in terms of media and what to do,” he said. “As we move into this programmatic, algorithmic age, creativity has never been more important.” Digital platforms will tout their media choices and data, but those won’t amount to much if brands don’t have something great to say, Binch said.
“People just don’t care what brands have to say,” Binch. “They want life made more convenient. They want brands to help them.” As the world becomes increasingly driven by voice and digital assistants, these relationships will grow.
To build those relationships, they need to have a sense of purpose, but they need to pick their battles, said Binch. “If you stand for everything, you stand for nothing,” he said. They have to choose a stand that is authentic to their brand purpose: Binch noted data shows that 89% of Gen Z will follow brands for their purpose.
Now is a time you’re seeing more brands take a step forward and say: ‘This I who I am,’” he said. “Not having values today is bad business.
Managing those relationships via technology has become increasingly complicated with voice-driven assistants, artificial intelligence and more, said Binch. Brands are only treading the surface, making media buys and Alexa skills, but they need to continue experimenting.
“Right now the playground for brands is somewhat limited,” said Binch, but “standing on the sidelines is not smart.”
The world is moving towards conversational interfaces and this intimacy requires some “brand humanity,” said Binch. As more technology acquires the ability to adopt a brand persona, it raises all kinds of ethical and operational questions for marketers. “It’s the Wild West.”
Binch, who was a judge in this year’s Webby awards, said even the most creative solution begins with data and the insights it drives. Finding an insight can be the spark to trigger emotion in product design.
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