New rules of brand building, Philips
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Name of the session?
The new rules of brand buildingMatt WarnockDigital Editor in Chief
I always get the toughest slot at these events and this is no different on stage presenting with Just Eat and Disney!1
This is the guy that founded Just Eat. How cool is he!?2
Im no expert but I believe that this is the founder of Disney3
Meanwhile at Philips Now, there are a few things the keener eyes amongst you will notice about this:This is one of the most handsomely mustachioed families in the history of businessThey also rocked a lovely range of neck tiesBut, most importantly, this image is quite old. In fact, Philips as a company is over 125 years old...
(side note: we once posted this image on our social channels and had our wrists slapped by the Brand Design team who said we couldnt use this image because our house style was color photography Im not sure they had that house style in mind when they took this photograph in the 1890s, I argued, unsuccessfully.
So, 125 years which is a long time to get to know a brand. And for a lot of those years, how we defined a brand was limited to fairly few touch points: starting with the customer experiencing the product itself, and then their experience of the storeBut then came more commercial marketing Gary Vaynerchuk says: words, pictures, sounds from now til forever. When you look back, you have to wonder whether its really so different from what we have today..?
We still have ugly weird advertising6
And weird visions of the future7
Not to mention native advertising or advertorial as it used to be called!8
Not forgetting where I am there was obviously the press.Including the Philips Koerier launched in 1940s as Philips own newspaper an early example of content marketing.9
So, 125 years to tell the workld who you are and what youre all about. Which is great until you want to change it.You want to change perceptions from TVs, radios, alarm clocks and light bulbs and towards being a cutting-edge healthcare technology company
Which is the journey weve been on for the past 3 years or so. In 2013, we launched our new brand proposition and weve been subtly repositioning since.
And this time around, digital of course took the lead
4 rules for (re)defining a brand to make an impact
1. Stand for something
Media spend may buy you breadth but on its own it cant buy you depth and for a B2B company with sales cycles of decades, depth is most significant.
As part of the relaunch, we stated that our goal is to improve the lives of 3bn people per year by 2020. And this isnt BS theres an actual formula behind it.
To build meaning and loyalty we have integrated social change into business models. Like in Brazil where our mobile mammography van hits the streets each October and has scanned more than 10,000 That isnt just a mission statement but it underpins the way we communicate too.I think that was one of the reasons for the success of our Cannes Lion winning Breathless Choir campaignwomen.15
Incredibly privileged time when through social listening and longtail keyword analysis, we can actually see what our audiences are looking for online. But to build a brand you have to turn those insights into experiences.
Philips has a range of products for sleep apnea sufferers. Last year, we noticed that each night there were loads of conversations around #cantsleep #insomnia #team no sleep so we reacted by creating some of the most boring videos on the internet. Sheep in fields, physics lectures, grass growing we said we were creating content that could send you to sleep just as well as our products could. And we reached out to people online who were complaining they couldnt sleep, daring them to see how many of our videos they could get through before dropping off.17
We ran what is (in the words of twitter) probably the worlds longest Periscope live stream ever 36 non-stop hours of paint drying. Almost 10,000 people watched it!18
3. Surprise and excite
If you want to create a brand that resonates with audiences you need to surprise, excite, entertain or educate your target audience.
Thats what we tried to do this year when we took a B2B not consumer focused event and flipped it on its head to help consumers understand what WEF is all about19
This resulted in a great reaction from the general public, our most engaged with social content to date, but also opened doors to our execs with high level clients who were impressed by our commitment to WEF. Even used to open our annual leadership summit. Not bad for a 20k euro campaign
4. Be consistent
I was recently in a workshop to ideate a new experience journey and we spoke to a range of real customers. One of them mentioned a recently train experience hed had his train was delayed, he was angry with the company, he tweeted about it, the company apologized, he felt better, but then there was no mention of the delay on the flight.
Meanwhile, he spoke of a hotel experience he has when he travels for business. He logs in, all his details are stored, his key is ready when he arrives, the pillow/duvet/temperature of the room are personalized to him, and they deliver a coffee and croissant in the morning just as he likes it so he can eat he route to his meeting.
A brands entire experience needs to be aligned. On the night of the brand relaunch, the global head of digital, the head of comms and I were in a room changing the new shield and banner on all 100+ of our global social channels to make sure they were done at the same time. You need to sweat the details21
Stand for somethingListenSurprise and exciteBe consistent