The idea of brand butler-ing has been around for a few years.
This need requires B2C brands to turn many of their 'campaigns' if not all interactions with their customers into broader services. In short: a shift from 'broadcasting' to assisting. Relationships with brands are now more down to earth and less reverential. From individualism to eco-concerns to decreased spending power in developed economies: which is more about showing empathy and providing customers with a status fix (please re-read our PERKONOMICS briefing) than being purely practical. This too requires brands to master more service-oriented personae. For brands, this means that there are now endless creative and cost-effective ways to deliver on this need for assistance, for 'butlers'.
What this means for your brand, is that there is a great opportunity for brands to develop a more holistic brand butlering strategy.
The beauty of it is, that you don’t have to ‘butler’ on your own. Just one example: L'OREAL recently teamed up with Vanity Fair's Hollywood app to offer consumers tools to organize their Oscar night voting pools, as well as offering live results and exclusive Vanity Fair content Vanity Fair Hollywood, which is available for free in the App Store via http://www.VF.com/iphone, is designed help users organize their Oscar night voting pools, letting them make their Academy Awards picks and get real-time results using their iPhone or iPod touch. L’Oréal Paris branding is integrated throughout the application.
14,000 apps as of Jan 2010.
Google labs has developed City Tours, which uses Google Maps to offer a variety of walking tours in cities around the world. The tours also offer practical information such as opening hours.
Sprize: Sprize, provided by Gap in and around Vancouver, BC, allows shoppers to register online before they shop, and if an item's price is reduced within 45 days of purchase, their Sprize account will automatically be credited the difference.
Swedish food brand Santa Maria offers an iPhone app that offers grilling tips and advice. The application features recipes, a BBQ handbook and a grilling timer.
In March 2009, Galp Energia launched Galpshare, a carpooling platform available throughout Portugal, where commuters can create a profile, specify their daily route and find others heading the same way. Users can also list their musical preferences and interests, helping them find people they'd enjoy sharing a ride with.
The Big Learn - Mobile: Being a Good Brand Butler
Big Learn – Mobile “Being a Good Brand Butler” May 13, 2010 H. McWilliams Planning
“ Brand Butlers” <ul><li>With pragmatic, convenience-loving consumers enjoying instant access to an ever-growing number of supporting services and tools (both offline and online), brands urgently need to hone their 'butlering skills’ , focusing on assisting consumers to make the most of their daily lives, versus the old model of selling them a lifestyle if not identity. </li></ul>
What it means for brands <ul><li>A shift from 'broadcasting' to assisting : time, convenience, control and independence are the new currencies </li></ul><ul><li>The practical and pragmatic rule </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer longing for institutions that truly ' care ’ </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile online revolution: mobile internet usage is now finally exploding, encouraging always-on , instant gratification online </li></ul>
Ask these questions about your brand <ul><li>What are you about as a brand ? </li></ul><ul><li>What themes ? </li></ul><ul><li>What benefits ? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it 'connectivity'? Inside information? Convenience? Hope? Health? Speed? Reliability? </li></ul>
How to be a good ‘brand butler’ – Hint #2: See what others are up to, what already exists out there.
So, what type of ‘Brand Butler’ Apps are out there? Examples 1. Transparency & ‘In-the-know’ 2. Saving Money 3. Finding 4. Connectivity 4. Health, Nutrition & Exercise 5. Sills & Advice 6. Eco 7. Skills & Amenities
1. Transparency & ‘In the know’ providing consumers with information that will either lubricate or enrich their lives Google labs City Tours: A variety of walking tours in cities around the world. Nike’s True City: ‘ insider’ information on six European cities. Adidas Urban Art Guide: iPhone travel guide listing Berlin's best graffiti. Examples of “Brand Butler”
2. Saving money help your customers save money in their daily lives Taxi2 (Virgin Atlantic): Cab sharing service for airline passengers Sprize: If an item’s price is reduced w/i 45 days, you will automatically be credited the difference Ikea Covoiturage: Car-sharing service for Ikea shoppers Examples of “Brand Butler”
3. Finding helping people find information that is relevant and timely SitOrSquat (Charmin): Helps you find bathrooms, change tables, diability access and other amenities. Petcentric Places (Purina): Helps you find ‘petcentric’ locations in your vicinity Zillow: Provides you with details of estimated home values, homes for sale, and recently sold homes Examples of “Brand Butler”
4. Connectivity Connecting people who share similar interests Vtravelled (Virgin Atlantic): A global community of travel lovers – allows members to access real time updates about destination events and info Examples of “Brand Butler”
5. Health, nutrition & exercise Helping people stay well The Nivea Sun: iPhone app collects info about the user, suggests the correct SPF to be used on a particular day, and alerts the user when the protection should be reapplied. SkiReport.com (Nestle PowerBar): iPhone app offering access to nutritional info, athlete profiles, videos and free product samples Examples of “Brand Butler”
6. Skills & advice Skills, knowledge, manners: the new status symbols Flying Without Fear (Virgin Atlantic): iPhone app to overcome your fear of flying. Wine Finder (Tesco): Find any wine from a photo of the bottle, get reco based on price, country of origin and accompanying cuisine. Santa Maria: Recipes, tips and advice on cooking, a BBQ handbook and a grilling timer. Examples of “Brand Butler”
7. Eco Assisting customers in greening their behavior Eco: Drive: USB downloadable app that aims to improve driving efficiency in an eco-friendly manner. Galpshare (Galp Energia): A carpooling platform that helps find others heading the same way when they commute. Examples of “Brand Butler”
8. Tools & amenities Skills, knowledge, manners: the new status symbols Geico: iPhone app lets drivers take photos, make notes and record the details of other patries involved in any incident FNAC: iPhone app allows users to buy event tix, maps to find their way to the venue, a fake lighter for concerts, a tool to measure applause levels and a foghorn British Gas: iPhone app allows consumers to regularly record and submit their gas and electricity meter readings, increasing the accuracy of their energy bills Examples of “Brand Butler”
How to be a good ‘brand butler’ – Hint #3: Involve your consumers – co-create
Now what? (Resources) <ul><li>“ I want to know more about the market landscape for mobile” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I want to know more about consumer trends that are relevant to my brands” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I want to know how other brands are using mobile” </li></ul><ul><li>Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Trendwatching.com </li></ul><ul><li>Brandchannel.com </li></ul><ul><li>PulsecheckLA.com (Facebook / Twitter) </li></ul>