Brands: Focus on Value, Not Piling Up Platforms

Kathryn Worthington is vp, director of account planning at DesignKitchen Chicago. Follow her on Twitter @kk_worthington.

At the core of brands’ challenges with technology today is that in our frantic desire to be at the forefront of the latest tools and platforms, we are focusing on the wrong question. Brands jump the gun because they see emerging platforms merely as a means for reaching more consumers and keeping up with trends. But you don’t get points for jumping to the front of the line simply for exposure to more people.

It’s not enough to simply evaluate if a brand’s consumers would engage with the platform. It’s more important to ask, what experiences are authentic to the brand and would allow consumers to enhance their passions? Or, more simply, what could we be doing that would create more value for the consumer?

When brands develop isolated strategies for platforms, they are making a mistake in not connecting the dots to how consumers live. Developing a social strategy separate from a broader engagement strategy encourages fragmentation of brand experiences. Innovation comes from putting consumer needs first. Evaluate platforms and tools from the perspective of adding value, utility and service for consumers, rather than providing additional eyeballs for the brand.

We need to move away from thinking of ourselves as the architects of brand stories through emerging technologies to the architects of brand relationships that bring consumers closer to their passion.

For many brands, this is a challenge because of organizational silos and budgets that relegate emerging platforms and experiences to separate experimental marketing initiatives. When we structure our brand marketing efforts around the core consumer need first, platform opportunities emerge as natural extensions of the brand purpose and experience.

That’s when we’ll get to the “why,” and beyond the “how.”

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