Last week was the Cannes Lions week, where some of the world’s most known brands descended on the south of France for the world’s biggest annual awards show and festival for professionals in the creative communications industry. This year Unilever; Intel; Facebook; Twitter; AirBnB; Google; Vice and more, were amongst the most talked about brands.
The world’s foremost professionals and leading thinkers were present to talk about this years’ hot topic: DATA.
The word ‘Big Data’ is thrown around a lot with the advent of new technologies but what this is is alien to most businesses. Not every business has the capacity to filter through the vast amount of information it collects about a customer or client whether intentionally or incidentally to their business interactions or transactions. However, the use of this data has enabled the creative industry to drive complex ideas, and drive mass engagements to tell stories more than ever before.
Creative data is the data which can be used to produce highly targeted campaigns.
Tech and Global Brands
Marc Matthieu, former vice president of marketing at Unilever and soon to be Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung, said brands don’t get built the way they used to and if people think about the top brands in the world, it’s no longer Coca-Cola but the “Google’s and Apple’s of the world”, see the full article here.
What Marc says, to a large extent, is true. Technology has now become such an integral part of our lives that it has seems inconceivable that you wouldn’t just ‘Google’ something on your iPhone. What drives these companies is essentially how they are using the data that they collect to create a brand that seamlessly fits into our lives and delivers value.
Theo Theodorou, head of EMEA at xAd, says that Ad tech firms have begun making their mark for this very reason. He said that advertising technology is making its mark more than ever before because these companies are offering data driven ad targeting in location based mobile technology.
This means information provided by you through your digital interaction can be, and is increasingly being used to target you in very clever ways, wherever it is you are in the world.
While collecting ‘big data’ is all well and good, what companies are doing with that data is more important. According to AirBnB’s CMO, it is important to “work with talented people who understand how to tell a story out of data and use that story to inspire creative people, so the foundation on which the creatives are asked to work is actually robust”. In essence, extracting information and creating a story is not dissimilar to the function of a trade mark communicating brand values to customers when buying a product. To this extent, creating these stories is to create a brand and to create a brand is to create intellectual property, which is an asset and one which will require careful management if it is going to be successful.
The Googles and Apples of the world are some of the most prolific intellectual property generators developing some of the most advanced technology the public has yet to see and their success is because of successful IP strategies and management. Making your brand stand out requires more than extracting a story from the details of many, it involves a clear intellectual property strategy that allows you to create the value and continue commercialising it.
What makes your brand stand out?
In our post Brand Name – 8 Points To Consider Before You Name Your Product Or Service, we highlighted some of the elements that would help in creating a distinctive brand. For example, the data collected by a business may reveal some important details such as age demographics, shopping habits, location etc. When creating a story out of those details choosing an appropriately distinctive name to represent it is important as it will allow easy association and will help translate your product to your respective market.
Take for example the Compare the Meerkat campaign as a trade mark, it was noted that Jason Lonsdale of Saatchi and Saatchi was quoted as saying “They’ve done something unexpected and a bit bonkers, and it’s paid off. A campaign based on talking animals and a pun sounds like a terrible idea, but it works.” See the full article here.
Finding an appropriate name is half the part, however, as registering it is what will help maintain its aura. In this example, Alexsandr Orlov (the Meerkat) is actually a UK trade mark, see here.
Tech is king, but first movers win
If someone had already registered ‘Compare the Meerkat’ the campaign would have suffered immeasurably compared to what the brand is worth today.
With technology taking over every aspect of brand communication, being smart about brand strategy involves a lot more than creating innovative stories and concepts. It involves understanding the insights offered by data and the value of your intellectual property as much larger chess pieces in a commercial strategy that will help your business grow.