The World Cup is the ideal platform for brands to showcase their identity and unique service offering while building brand equity with existing customers and cultivating relationships with new consumers. An emotive environment where excitement rules the streets and multiculturalism is celebrated, brands are presented with a positive and impactful opportunity to showcase their values, characteristics, and story.
The World Cup offers a unique opportunity, particularly to sports-related brands, to gain exposure as their image is captured and transmitted by thousands of television cameras to millions of spectators around the globe, forever to be associated with an incredibly memorable time in their lives.
There is an exceptionally strong television viewership for World Cup games, especially as the tournament progresses, and it is an opportunity for brands to connect with deeply alert and engaged fans watching in the different stadiums, pubs and homes across the world.
The World Cup produces hundreds of hours of collective passion, as celebrating fans inject park squares and streets with a vibrant festival atmosphere, transforming these spaces into the perfect environment for audience engagement. As the most significant occasion in football, this is a time that sport idols and ambassadors should leverage for their full advantage, driving fan engagement and awareness among influential brands.
As tournaments like the World Cup are consistent, brands should be prepared for these phenomenal opportunities and have strategies in place to develop a strong link between their identity and the excitement of the World Cup, to capture their magic and build brand equity with fans, spark positivity among consumers and enhance brand loyalty.
Brands should leverage the intense link that fans have with their teams and countries and build loyalty through amplifying their exploding pride during this period. To achieve this, it is key that the brands have a significant presence and provide real value to these fans during the competition, not only showcasing themselves and their own offering, but being proactive and collaborating, making alliances with other brands while also competing to earn their share of the public.
The future of fan engagement
In my vision, the future of branding should be associated with a very different and far-reaching engagement mechanism that not only benefits the future of the brand but the long-term loyalty of fans. The need to build innovative ways to interact is obvious as we see massive amounts of information available and an explosion in online participation.
Brands and media alike now have to look for opportunities for direct and active engagement, instead of the passive method to which we are accustomed. Users now freely give up their private personal information and communicate in deeper, more meaningful relationships with many different actors from brands and idols to media and friends. In this model, each actor rightly earns a part of the data generated and should be encouraged to actively implement and utilize it.
I envision the social media landscape evolving to host a new era of active brands, collaborative models and shared data utilization, ultimately involving consumers in the role of data production and encouraging them to reap the rewards.