Marketing execs from companies including Visa, PepsiCo and Johnson & Johnson were tapped by the Chief Marketing Officer Council to explore how brands can culturally attract and engage fans.
The CMO Council teamed with Fresh Squeezed Ideas for the report. “Building Brands That Attract and Engage Fans,” which explores how consumer brands stay relevant, authentic and differentiated in a rapidly evolving and culturally complex global market.
With 195 countries and 6,500 languages around the world, the challenge is daunting as brands seek new methods and motivators to connect and engage with audiences through social, mobile, experiential, digital advertising and eCommerce channels.
Marketers must accurately situate their brands within a cultural, consumer and competitive context. Using a brand ecology model, there are endless possibilities to create new communications, new innovation strategies and new marketing interventions by tapping into the power of a culturally informed brand strategy in a structured way, according to the report.
One example is Visa’s current efforts around the Rio Olympics.
“Because of the nature of our brand, some of the cultural icons that we've used are Olympic athletes that convey a global sense of everybody coming together and focusing on the same thing for a period of time,” says Diane Salmon, senior director of loyalty and offers at Visa. “People tend to feel very positively about this kind of human effort, and that is one of the reasons we value that positioning as much as we do.”
PepsiCo puts its emphasis in continuing to put pep into its longtime brands. Consumers are becoming omni-cultural around the globe and geographical boundaries don’t necessarily divide them, says Ram Krishnan, chief customer officer for PepsiCo.
“Consumers have become very engaged and are no longer passive,” he says. “They want to have a two-way conversation with brands, and they often even dictate what that conversation should be. Whether it’s on social media or within the consumer relationship, the challenge for us is to aggregate all of that customer data into one place so that we can get a better picture of what consumers expect.”
Johnson & Johnson has focused on finding micro-moments in the lives of Millennials. When it comes to anticipating customers’ needs, J&J is able to do some predictive marketing and create micro-moments for the brands., said Alfie Ang, head of digital analytics in Asia. For example, the company has found that interaction with babies is very important and have underscored that with health research in their communications to ensure moms understand that it is important.
“Touch, smell, hearing, seeing and tasting are all very important, so we translate that into our messaging for the Johnson’s Baby brand so that we remain relevant to moms and give them information that is helpful for their babies’ development,” Ang says. “Overall, we’re seeing that consumers are wanting much more personalized information, so we need to be able to balance that level of personalization while also making sure that we aren’t overloading them with content.”