Opinion: How to build the new narrative of the marks

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For Gustavo Manrique, a Partner at Stratego, a professor at the IESA and Director of the Diploma of Reputation, member of the Board of Mentors of the Innovation Center, the City of Knowledge, board Dircom Panama.

In these two decades that we have been sailing in the 21st century many things have changed. In the recent past the brands are maintained distant from the political issues and anything that could generate controversy; but currently, the linking of brands to social problems, environmental issues, and the political debate takes on a new dimension.

The current expectation about the marks is that they are more close to the people, to engage with the real problems of our society and be an agent of change. There are three elements that I believe constitute a new model for the relationship of brands with consumers: the activism of the brands, convergence, and creative; what Deloitte called in its report, “Global Marketing Trends”, the debt of the experience.

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Brands today have a big challenge and they need to align their purpose and values with the expectations of the society; but, in addition, have to demonstrate the exercise of these in practice. The activism of the marks involves taking positions and be in the conversations about topics of social, political or environmental such as gender equity, inclusion and diversity, climate change and poverty; among others.

The respect to diversity; for example, has led to the activism of brands such as Starbucks and
Nike. The support of Nike Colin Kaepernick with his cause in pro of african americans in the united States or of Starbucks and the Corona Beer in favor of diversity and anti-discriminatory policies, are a clear indication that the brands have passed the border of the market and are in the territory of the social causes aligned to their values.

On the other hand, brands like Victorias Secret that still believe that the buttocks and the perfect bodies of the women of their models, are suffering the rejection of most. The singer Rihana took another path, aware of this reality and took out her brand of lingerie Savage X Fenty. Unlike the parade of Victoria’s Secret is already obsolete, the musical show of the Savage X Fenty evidence the main objective of Rihanna: to show that all women have the right to feel sexy no matter your size.

On the other hand, the convergence creative is a concept that I introduced in a conference in the City of Knowledge in Panama. Results in the synergy that occurs among different economic sectors, academic, or cultural that seem to have no relationship.

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Such is the case of the watch brand Hublot and its partnership with the master of Kinetic Art, Carlos Cruz-Diez, who was invited to adapt one of its investigations, the Chromium interférence (1964) in three of his watches. Your edition Classic Fusion Cross-Ten is a clear example of convergence creative, which merges the worlds of watchmaking, the art, the color and the movement.

Another case of convergence on creative project Red Bull Stratos. His aggressive strategy
marketing launch of a brave knight from the stratosphere with a parachute was
accompanied by a deep scientific study.

It was a perfect fusion between brand and science. Finally, the example of the small pills, Tic – Tacs and Coca-Cola, which joined forces to launch a limited edition of their pills with the taste of the gas and thus create something unique.

In terms of the debt of the experience, it is important to note that just now when we thought that digital was the epicenter of the world, many brands are realizing that returning to basics may be a good idea and that the actual connection has a great value.

The ability of companies and their brands to generate a balance that is more human and close on the experience with the consumer involves using the power of social media as catalysts, but not as an end in itself. Deloitte argues that the constant change in technology and the increasing dependence on the digital technology can leave people desirous of a human connection, and this opens a great opportunity to innovate. It is time for a new narrative, the brands that understand this new connection will be the one who will be more successful.