In many instances advertising has morphed into brand experience. The relationship between brand and consumer is now built upon utility as much as what’s being sold.
Consumers aren’t as interested in advertising as they were, when there was less noise and fewer distractions and when trust was higher. They understand more clearly that it’s designed to make money and can hastily judge it as shallow. They’re more interested in their own lives, and if they can indulge in useful experiences, that story becomes more compelling. Integrated marketing allows those two stories to run together. And great advertising can blur the line further when the work is so engaging people want to experience it.
The sense of belonging, the experience and channel on which you have it, is as important as the message
A brand needs to focus not just on consumers’ values but how they might like to spend their time and the emotional reactions that can invoke. In such a way, a brand story can both reflect and nurture a customer’s life, getting their attention by providing useful experiences.
The sense of belonging, the experience and channel on which you have it, is as important as the message. Today, advertising is about more than the ad – great ideas no longer make a distinction between customer experience and communication. Mike knew that in the original Shared Beliefs, when he wrote ‘the idea is only the start of the execution’.
Today, that execution inevitably involves experiences. Not just the usefulness of an app or website but whether it entertains in a 3-D way – psychologically, physically and emotionally. Because stimulating, sharing and inviting creative participation increases impact. The aim is to engage different audiences with different kinds of content that provide an experience.
And in different channels because they all have their individual strengths. Brand messaging needs to resemble a tapestry of interconnected weaves, all doing different things according to the channel.