Imo­gen Riley, Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Senior Man­ager, Adobe APAC – LinkedIn @IERiley

My team and I recently attended Mar­tin Lindstrom’s sym­po­sium, Brand­washed. Mar­tin had my atten­tion from the get go – his abil­ity to engage the audi­ence for an entire day was incred­i­ble! He takes you on a jour­ney into con­sumer psy­chol­ogy and chal­lenges you to think out­side the box.  Here are the key take­aways I took from the event and hope­fully give you some action­able insight on ways to boost your brand.

1)      The brain acts irra­tionally – Mar­tin begins by explain­ing how we act irra­tionally and are ruled by emo­tions. Did you know 15% of what we do daily is ratio­nal com­pared to 85% which is irra­tional? There­fore busi­nesses can­not assume their con­sumers behav­ior with­out exten­sive research.

2)      Smash­ables – Would your con­sumers still rec­og­nize your brand if your logo was removed? Martin’s con­cept of ‘the smash­able brand’ was a real eye opener. He explained how busi­nesses have to own every aspect of their brand. By this he means a whole range of related ele­ments, sound, shape, colour, a word, an icon and so on. For exam­ple, Coca Cola can still be recog­nised if you remove its logo just by the shape of the coke bot­tle. Apple is asso­ci­ated with the apple icon, the ‘i’ nam­ing series and many more instances.  Google owns the word ‘search’ – when a con­sumer goes to search some­thing online, they almost always go to Google (so much so that peo­ple say ‘google it’ instead of ‘search it’). So, is your brand smashable?

3)      Word – of – mouth – Never under­es­ti­mate the power of word-of-mouth mar­ket­ing. It can be your most use­ful or detri­men­tal tool – use it wisely and effec­tively. “It takes a mere 5% of ‘informed indi­vid­u­als’ to influ­ence the direc­tion of a crowd of up to two hun­dred peo­ple” accord­ing to Pro­fes­sor Jens Krause from Leeds Uni­ver­sity. Iden­tify your key influ­encers: who are your 5%?

4)      Generation-to-generation Brand­ing: Did you know that 65% of our adult brand choices come from our par­ents?  If this is the case should we then relook at our tar­get group? Peo­ple tend to remem­ber their past in a pos­i­tive way and asso­ciate cer­tain sound, smells and taste with it – clever brands can lever­age this to tap into their con­sumers’ nos­tal­gia for the past.

5)      Gam­i­fi­ca­tion – We are enter­ing the era of games. Brands are cap­i­tal­is­ing on the con­cept of games and using it to drive con­sumer engage­ment. How can your brand incor­po­rate a gam­ing aspect?

6)      Con­tex­tual Brand­ing & Cus­tomi­sa­tion – in the future every­thing will be cus­tomised. In this highly com­pet­i­tive envi­ron­ment, brands need to offer a cus­tomised expe­ri­ence to cus­tomers, either through web­site con­tent, pro­mo­tions, prod­uct selec­tion or so on. Brands must under­stand their cus­tomers and their social inter­ac­tions in order to engage them. Tech­nolo­gies such as Adobe Social allow brands to have full vis­i­bil­ity into their cus­tomers’ social inter­ac­tions and behav­iours and respond to them appropriately.

7)      Have a mis­sion in mind– Clar­ify your mis­sion to your cus­tomer and employ­ees. A mis­sion will cre­ate a vision which in return will gen­er­ate pas­sion. Think about what you are sell­ing, what the ben­e­fit is and what the added value is. This will then clar­ify and sim­plify your mes­sage. For exam­ple, Adobe’s mis­sion is: To trans­form the world through dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence’. What is your statement?

Get into the minds of your con­sumers! Go out, inter­act with them, con­duct research, and under­stand their needs. Talk to them on social media and lis­ten to what they are say­ing. The more you under­stand your con­sumers and how they view your brand, the bet­ter you become in respond­ing to their needs and the more you will grow. Feel free to leave your com­ments and questions.