Transforming The Experience For The Post 95s
Advertising Week Asia came back to Tokyo for its second year this week. The city welcomed marketing, brand, advertising and technology professionals across various disciplines from all over the world for four days of inspiring keynote presentations, workshops and networking sessions. On day three, Isobar Global CEO Jean Lin presented “Brand Commerce: Transforming The Experience For The Post 95s” on the Keynote Stage. Here’s how it went.
Jean began by pointing out the increasing popularity of Digital Transformation and the mix of anticipation and excitement among brands regarding the speed of change. Joint research between Isobar and U.S-based research firm Alpha-DNA showed that from the top 1,000 companies with strong revenue growth, Digital Transformation will only improve the strength of businesses. So, how can brands maximize the potential of digital transformation, especially when engaging the key post ’95 audience?
Digital Transformation is undeniably key for businesses to grow, drawing strength from its ability to unlock new revenue streams. It happens from the inside out — redesigning an organisation’s focus in a way that creates revenue and serves customers in a new and better way. Four areas are key for brands to remember:
We are living in an experience economy
Digital Transformation is about building outstanding, immersive experiences for customers.
A brand’s products and services are very interconnected
Technology allows unprecedented interconnectivity of advanced marketing products now more so than ever, allowing the construction of entire ecosystems that move away from looking at them as marketing silos.
Frictionless, inspiring customer experiences
We have a chance to remove barriers through interconnectivity and to be inspired by going back to basics. Artificial intelligence (AI) has a key role to play in this process, however, the human factor is fundamental. Human empathy and emotion enables the making of inspiring stories that helps develop and build stronger brand connections.
Brand Commerce approach
Brands must consider the last mile of the consumer journey to close the gap between brand inspiration and commercial interactions. Weaving brand and commerce throughout the consumer journey adds new value and relevance. At Isobar, we call this Brand Commerce.
However, consumers’ interactions and transactions with brands still seem divorced from each other. Brand experiences which inspire seamless transaction need integration across all touchpoints, with success or failure directly connected to how neatly these are sewn together.
U.S-based cosmetics brand, Ultra Beauty for example, outperformed Amazon on stock price growth over the past twelve-months. Its ecommerce platform’s 70%+ growth through an omnichannel experience produced 2.5 times more revenue, 90% of it attributed to the creation of a loyalty program that earned 21.7 million members.
KFC in China also tells its own story of transformation. After 28 years in China, the brand was at a critical moment. Through 18 months of work, 100+ projects and the largest CRM creation in China, results are nothing short of impressive. 77M+ CRM members, 84M+ followers on social channels, robust sales growth and a complete digitalization of its 5,000 restaurants across China made KFC the most relevant Gen-Y and the second most relevant Gen-Z brand in the food and beverage category. All of KFC’s experiences focus on the Brand Commerce ecosystem, engaging and inspiring consumers with immersive experiences.
Brand Commerce is a long-term challenge; it escapes technology, steps into how content is created and how it reaches consumers. Isobar has made it possible for KFC to innovate stores, by partnering with Baidu, WeChat and Alibaba payment services, driving instant transactions and making it possible to stretch promotions. Integrating everyday Gen-Y and Gen-Z behaviours into KFC’s consumer journey means customers can stream music by scanning codes available on their food tray, preorder meals and play their favourite game, all while enjoying a juicy piece of chicken.
Chinese millennials born post ’95 account for 17% of the total Chinese population. In-depth understanding of their pain-points is essential to maintain their attention and the entire KFC brand transformation rested upon three fundamental considerations for them: love, play, and eat.
In Jean’s Advertising Week Asia session, she shared compelling stories and results that spoke a single truth; agility needs to be a fundamental element present for businesses. Currently, either brand inspiration or commerce is happening, separately. On this note, she added that the interconnection between these two concepts is key to be relevant in the minds of consumers in a new way, and meet consumer expectations: “It’s more than Brand + Commerce, it’s now Brand x Commerce” Jean cited.
Brand transformation and success is possible through embracing the evolution of technology and how it empowers omnichannel experiences, online and offline integration, context is applied to big data and understanding that creativity is more important than ever before.
Andy Sugawara, Public Relations Officer, Dentsu Isobar