Welcome to the New Age

With the rise of fake news, manipulation of customer perceptions and decisions on social media, and recent concerns about how social data is being used or sold, consumers are in a mode of distrust with advertising.

Photo of D'Arcy Toffolo

D'Arcy Toffolo

Executive Managing Director

Decisions to engage and interact with brands are even more calculated, and there is skepticism as to how information provided might be used.

In this environment, we have a greater responsibility to find ways for our clients to build authentic connections with their customers and prospects. Our work in advocacy has shown that to effectively connect consumers to an initiative or cause, we must understand them – what motivates them to take an action – and what inspires them to share their action with their friends. Building authenticity starts with knowing what your brand stands for, and what it does not stand for. Data helps fuel insights about your customer which can be used to create ideas that connect and activate.

Here are five brands I admire – for their ability to build authentic experiences – with a clear vision of their mission and purpose:

  • Domino’s. With a multitude of ways to order a pizza, Domino’s gives 20-somethings no excuse when it comes to feeding their cravings with pizza. Ordering your pizza with a single emoji is a slice of innovation that elevates the brand’s commitment to technology and convenience.
  • Red Bull. This brand owns “adventure” – every aspect of their marketing is focused on the end benefit of the product vs the product itself. This allows them to act as though they are speaking 1:1 with consumers. Your adventure is most definitely different from mine.
  • Strava. This tech startup allows athletes to track rides and runs while comparing performance to other’s who’ve charted the same course. You can now compete for KOM (King of the Mountain) or QOM (Queen of the Mountain) status. This GPS data is now being used in partnership with city planners looking for insights on where to build bike lanes and improve city streets.
  • Zwift. This technology allows you to ride virtually alongside other cyclists from around the world – on courses like Alp Du-ez in France – all from the comfort of your basement. Hooking up your bike trainer to this software, you are taken into a VR experience that pushes your limits and improves fitness.
  • IKEA. Since its launch in the U.S., the retailer has always bucked conventions. Their room planner app uses AR to let you visualize furniture in your own home – a tremendous breakthrough for the category.

If you’re interested in talking to us about how we can help your brand connect and activate your customers, drop us a note.