Definition of a brand ecosystem
it’s an organic model, where the role of the brand is to listen to the
conversations happening around it, energise those conversations with
interesting content and experiences. It’s all about giving the ‘brand
community’ something to talk about within their own personal
social networks and ‘inﬂuencers’ are then able to add momentum to
Red Bull are kings of fuelling their ecosystem, by constantly fuelling their ‘energy ecosystem’ with new
content, stories, the Red Bulletin, controversies, world records, rumours about their ambassadors etc.
A key element of creating a Brand Ecosystem is to embrace the Participative Branding approach.
Participative Branding is how a company engages and behaves with consumers across channels and over
time to earn both their attention and their participation through experiences. It’s also about how consumers
engage with each other.
Definition of a digital ecosystem
the complex of a community of digital devices and their environment
functioning as a whole. A complete digital ecosystem consists of
hardware, software, and services. All play a particular role in the
ecosystem in order for it to function as a whole. Based on the design of
the hardware, the function of the software, and the services provided,
ecosystems can target speciﬁc parts of the market or the market as
a whole. The important thing about ecosystems is that they create
dependencies. These dependencies can lead to consumer loyalty.
The digital ecosystem Google has created, unlike many businesses, thinks ﬁrst like a
services company and then works backwards. While Apple and Microsoft think more from a
hardware and or software viewpoint ﬁrst, Google thinks ﬁrst and foremost like a services
We can see Nike connects everything with the
consumer where-as for traditional brands the channels
are more about giving the brand different ways to
broadcast campaign messages.
If we consider any traditional FMCG brand as an ecosystem and the role of digital within it you can begin to
understand why an ad-hoc approach to brand and marketing fails to deliver against brand objectives.
Within the digital space brands are about consistently telling a unique story and engaging with an audience who
shares their views as part of the conversation.
A brand needs a story to connect its components together to provide content for dialogue and to feed its growth
much like a nutrient cycle in an ecosystem.
“We do cool shit...not advertising”
Simon Penstridge - UK Marketing Director Nike
BE PART OF THEIR LIVES, INFUSE YOUR BRAND INTO THE CULTURAL
“We don’t do advertising any more. We just do cool shit, it sounds a bit wanky, but that’s just the
way it is. Advertising is all about achieving awareness, and we no longer need awareness. We
need to become part of people’s lives and digital allows us to do that.”
The recent , Nike Grid idea was a great example of fusing the real world with an amazing digital
gaming experience where London was their playground.
Nike Grid - 24hrs, 40 postcodes get running.
Nike Grid, is a 24hr challenge to run as much as you can across London, checking in at phone boxes across
London’s 40 postcodes. You earn points and badges as you check in to phone boxes, with one person
crowned the king after 24hrs. Facebook connect integration to drive the competitive element. Great idea for
London youth using the streets as your playground, tapping into their competitive side and using geo
location technology in a simple yet fun way.
80% PRODUCTION SPEND, 20% MEDIA SPEND
“Some of our best campaigns have been the cheapest to create because they’ve caught the
imagination of users and then taken off like wildﬁre”. Nike Bootcamp in 2008 was a brilliant example of
entertainment, utility and social working together seamlessly.
EMBRACE A FAIL FORWARD APPROACH
“We’re pushed to take risks in everything we do as long as we’re enabling the athlete to be better,
Sure, we’ll get some things wrong but you’ve just got to go for it.”
AN OVERALL CHANGE FOR NIKE MEANS WHAT?
Nike have changed from talking about a product to talking about what you want the product
associated with e.g Nike does not talk about its product of shoes/clothing it associates itself with/
creates events that people that its product would be interested in.
Data and Relationships
The future of digital all boils down to data and
relationships to deliver growth for brands, by
strengthening their connections with consumers.
The more brands create and exploit digital platforms
effectively, the stronger the consumer relationships,
the more valuable the data. The businesses who win
this future are ones that understand it is dialogue that
drives these digital connections.
What does this mean for brands?
Developing a greater connection with consumers to
address the issue of loyalty.
Create greater marketing efﬁciencies so that the
brand can begin to not rely so heavily on traditional
Hero the brand through engaging relevant content
which in turn will drive brand preference.
Phases of an ecosystem
The foundation of a digital ecosystem is strategy
Content is what fuels a digital ecosystem.
Managing the success of a digital ecosystem is critical
Example Brand Ecosystem Recommendations
There is little content captured at
events and no incentive for
consumers to create their own.
Driving brand preference by enabling the brand
to bring freedom to consumers and make them
feel optimistic and alive.
No connection between each of the
touch points for the consumers.
Giving people experiences through rich branded
content and using digital as a mechanic to drive
consumers to events.
Recognition of a high level of
engagement by consumers is not
Creating experiences using the
creative platform is not energising the
Within products and services the
brand is not offering any further value
to consumers in regards to innovation
Creating more value for the brand by driving
consumers to engage with more than one touch
Developing a loyalty aspect to the ecosystem
that leverages experiences and exclusives
through sponsorships and places of worship.
Build innovative and interactive tools to increase
consumer engagement in the ecosystem
Example Role of Digital Channels
Develop a connection
with the consumer
and be central
repository for content
Distribute content and
generate awareness for the
brand within the social
Connect with consumers at
key events and sponsorship
opportunities to drive further
engagement and beer in hand
A central hub for video
content and a creating
awareness for the brand.
A place for longer forms of content
to be live and to create deeper
engagement with the consumer
whilst building credentials for the
Create further engagement
opportunities for the brand
and a key channel to
distribute branded content
A channel for the brand to
be involved in online
conversations that are
occurring about the brand
and drive reach.