Profero specialists on changes in digital: 6 forces that will set brand transformation in motion in the 2020s

Consumer behavior and expectations in the digital era  trigger dynamic changes when it comes to brand communication. If the 2010s saw the rise of digital models and tools able to generate the “wow” effect in terms of audience interaction, in the 2020s everything is about to reach the next level. And 2019 is the pivot for a new set of rules in brand strategy. Peter Moody, Managing Director Profero London, and Rob Collins, Global Head of Strategy Profero New York, have analysed the digital marketing practices of the last ten years and anticipated how brands are going to adjust in the next decade, on UPGRADE 100’s stage, the most extensive regional festival dedicated to the impact digital and technology have on business and society.

  • Right here & now: digital solutions that dramatically reduce waiting moments

Up until now, mobile Apps granted users the advantage to access products and services from everywhere. But promises such as ”3 taps away” are no longer enough as, with the increasing volume of information available, the brands who will be able to offer seamless digital experiences are those that will remain close to consumers. We expect people to develop an even more intense rejection when it comes to applications and digital solutions that involve a consistent effort on behalf of the user and tend to cause friction as customers seek for a quick outcome. Key words: face recognition, voice recognition, biometrics.

  • From improving the customer experience to differentiating the customer experience

The 2010s saw the rise of customer centric thinking. This has lead to dozens of digital solutions designed by brands that aim to refine their customers’ experience. However, many of these digital experiences look and feel remarkably similar. Over the next years brands are going to focus on creating customer experiences that act as a differentiator for the brand. These will combine data to produce endless possibilities: navigations app with incorporated streaming feature, instant display of low traffic routes or push notifications on available parking spots in any interest area; pre-setting delivery for any moment in the future; fashion apps that immediately assemble the user’s personalized styling profile – there are endless possibilities.  Key words: claimable, unmatched user experience

  • Who is still willing to risk double standards in the era of transparency?

Lately, brands have been seeking more than ever to strengthen their relevance, beyond the services and products they offer, by identifying certain social causes that they integrated within their communication. Problems appeared when, for instance, consumers noticed contradictions between the campaigns rolled by brands of the same portfolio. Starting with 2020, the success of a brand will also be defined, to a larger extent, by its degree of transparency, which will, in fact, resume to how willing it will be to let consumers in „behind the curtain”. Key words: transparency, behind the curtain.

  • From home delivery to everywhere delivery

A business that is solely expecting customers in-store is obsolete. Until recently, an excellent home delivery service and a great experience along this journey were valuable assets for any brand. But people are now way more mobile than they used to be and, for that reason, brands that will develop solutions to that makes them available in any location, will secure the consumers’ interest and loyalty in the years to come. Airport delivery, delivery in the middle of the traffic, delivery at any given event. Key words: wherever consumers are, sky is the limit – or is it?

  • From products that stand out on the shelf to digital interactive products

Brands have always competed against each other in creating packaging that stands out on the shelf, the place where most purchasing decisions used to be made. It was the logic and right thing to do. But, as mobility exploded and the online order volume continues to increase, the products that will win the race for wining and ensuring loyalty among customers will be those able to offer interactivity at its best once the product is in the hands of the consumers. Key words: AR packaging, cross platforms interactivity.

  •  Cookies vs. Context

You enter a site, and over the following days, you are heavily stalked by cookies, with the only purpose to remind that you ended up there and visualize a product that maybe you had no intention to buy in the first place. Cookies don’t spot the difference, therefore, can lead to a high hit and miss rate. To refine targeting, brands will rely more and more on context, a principle that will be increasingly exploited also through digital solutions. Key words: context is king, contextual targeting.

Paradigm shifts will continue to occur, and brand redefining will become more and more visible. For industry experts, the challenge is to watch closely at how the consumer’s behavior is evolving, and to integrate digital solutions in a way that makes a brand effortlessly helpful and enjoyable. At the end of the day, the key is redefining relevance.

Launched in 2012, iCEE.fest has become, over the years, a regional main landmark in terms of digital transformation. In 2019, the festival welcomed its over 3,500 participants and 200 speakers by introducing them to its new concept: UPGRADE 100.

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