If you want your brand to be around beyond the next decade, itâ€™s time to focus on influence, warns Kim McKay.
Actually, the founder of Klick X â€” one of the Asia-Pacific regionâ€™s most awarded communications agencies â€” says sheâ€™d be focusing on â€œlittle elseâ€.
â€œThe complete shift is that, in the last 12 years, weâ€™ve gone from brands having the power to consumers having all the power. Employers had the power, and now employees have all the power,â€ she told attendees at the State of Social conference in Perth last month.
â€œSo if youâ€™re in the business of wanting to recruit or retain customers or employees, then influence is what youâ€™re going to need to have a business in the future.â€
Influence is the ability to have an effect on an outcome including, for example, an influence on consumer behaviour.
In a world where technology is changing at a rapid pace, entire industries and business models are being disrupted, and consumer trust is at an all-time low for many sectors (including marketers), Kim McKay said, â€œthereâ€™s nothing more important for a business that wants a future than influence.â€
â€œThe benefit of influence is that people will buy more things from you, more often; as a result of that they will be advocates for your brand and theyâ€™ll be more loyal, and thatâ€™s going to give you a disproportionate share of voice amongst your competitors.â€
The hallmark example of this is Apple â€“ a company whose products we often consume without even shopping around.
So, how do brands achieve influence? There are three ingredients, according to Kim McKay.
Firstly, impact: making sure a brand is seen and heard and understanding how it is perceived.
â€œThe idea needs to be big, not the budget,â€ she said. â€œSomething new, a world-first, can generate a huge amount of coverage and a disproportionate share of voice.â€
Secondly, interaction: offering the customer a relationship beyond the basic transaction.
â€œFocus on your strengths,â€ McKay said. â€œThink about something you already do well and ask how you can use that to make a customer for life, and make that the peak experience.â€
And lastly, innovation: which is how a brand evolves. Crucially, innovation isnâ€™t just about creating something â€œnewâ€; itâ€™s about being relevant to your customers, too.
McKay said Wrangler was a good example of this. The jeans company has just released their first pair of â€œgreenâ€ blue jeans, which use 60 per cent less water and energy in the dying process.
â€œItâ€™s relevant to their customer base, who really want sustainable clothing,â€ McKay said.
According to McKay, brands that get the formula right â€” impact, interaction and innovation â€” will have a life beyond 2029. Those that do not, will disappear.
Stay tuned for more information on the nextÂ State of Social conference here.