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Brand As Verb: Principles of High Performing Experience Brands

80% of leaders say their brands offer a superior customer experience. Only 8% of customers agree. Meanwhile, marketers are tortured by the fact that the number one way people learn about and buy from their brands is the hardest one to control: word-of-mouth. In today’s world of new realities it doesn’t pay for brands to stand by, continuing to trumpet their “creative messaging.” After all, 74% of people advocate for brands by describing their experiences with them. Brands that break through are brands that take action… brands that are more than nouns. Brands must see themselves as verbs.

Brand As Verb: Principles of High Performing Experience Brands

  1. The experience gap — Closing the distance between brand 
 promise and proof
  3. (brand) (consumer)
  4. We’re great. (brand) (consumer)
  5. (brand) No you’re not. (consumer)
  6. Loyalty tho? (brand)
  7. CRM? (brand)
  8. Social? (brand)
  9. Media fragmentation. (brand)
  10. Millennial mindset. (brand)
  11. (brand)
  12. (brand) 80%of leaders say their brands offer a superior customer experience.
  13. (brand) (consumer) 80%of leaders say their brands offer a superior customer experience. 8%of consumers agree.
  14. The experience gap —
  15. TODAY’S AGENDA The experience gap Brands 
 as verbs
  16. What people 
 say matters. 
 A lot. — Brands with highest levels of advocacy averaged 27% higher topline growth than the most criticized brands. BCG 2015
  17. What are they talking about?
  18. 74%of the time, people are talking about their personal experiences with a brand. What are they talking about? —
  19. What about the bottom line?
  20. 79%of sales close due to a combination of word-of-mouth and consumers’ personal experiences. What about the bottom line? —
  21. Where do experiences come from?
  22. Once upon 
 a time…
  23. ...defining brands was enough.
  24. 1. What should it be called? 2. What other words describe it? 3. What’s the tagline? 4. How do we make people aware of it? 5. What should its logo look like? 6. What should its logo look like in black and whit 7. Does it have a jingle? 8. How much space should be around its logo? 9. Is it time for an identity refresh? 10. Can we get a trademark on that? people remember the name? e energy to it? Marketers thought of brands as NOUNSthat they could ‘teach’ people.
  25. But, in today’s attention economy, consumers have come to care less about what brands are saying and more about what they’re doing. !
  26. But, in today’s attention economy, consumers have come to care less about what brands are saying and more about what they’re doing. ! social media rise of the internet desire for social currency permanent recession democratization of influence mistrust of advertising technology overload demographic inversion Mad Men fragmentation corporate skepticism message fatigue reflective self-identity
  27. Which is why we see brands today as more a function of how they act ... how they engage with and around consumers ... as verbs.
  28. Brands 
 as verbs
  29. The experience gap Brands 
 as verbs TODAY’S AGENDA
  30. Does your brand give good experience? — Because in a world where brands are verbs, what people remember, what they use to advocate (or not) is what they experience.
  31. The five principles of experience — An initial set of tools to help brands begin closing the experience gap.
  32. PRINCIPLE 1 ADD VALUE Brands that last are the ones that give more than they take from consumers’ lives. In a world filled with handheld – or even wearable – second screens, consumers are better than ever at tuning out marketers’ attempts to appeal to them. 
 At the same time, consumers are seeking out and signing up to hear from brands that offer them value: a utility, a conversation starter, helpful how-to instructions that help them through a challenge. The value scale is a delicate one, but if brands stay focused on keeping it balanced – or tipped towards consumers – it gives them significant credibility and access to share of wallet.
  33. PRINCIPLE 1 ADD VALUE KLM Meet & Seat One of the worst parts of traveling is sitting next to (or worse, between) total strangers. KLM found a way to shift a negative aspect of its customer experience into a potentially very valuable one. KLM’s Meet & Seat lets you find out about interesting people who will be on board your KLM flight by sharing your Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn profile details. Then, you can choose your seat based on who you’d like to meet – perhaps a good business contact, someone with similar interests or an long lost college friend.
  34. PRINCIPLE 1 ADD VALUE Lean In & Getty Images Nonprofits often must tow the difficult line between the constant need to ask supporters for funds, while also providing the value that is at the core of their mission. Along the way, many come off as needy, preachy or even inefficient. Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, found a way for her nonprofit, Lean In, to both further its cause and generate funding at once. In a partnership with Getty Images, a popular stock photography site, Lean In launched a collection of stock photos dedicated to women’s empowerment. The collection features over 2,500 images of female leadership in contemporary work and life. A portion of proceeds from the Lean In Collection go toward the creation of Getty Images grants for images showcasing female empowerment and to supporting the mission of the nonprofit.
  35. PRINCIPLE 1 ADD VALUE Ikea’s Second Hand Campaign Ikea doesn’t exactly have a reputation for making the most durable goods – but the fact is that many customers own their home furnishings for years without significant wear. Core to Ikea’s value proposition, however, is a price point that enables consumers to refresh their environments well before the furniture has tired. So to help show the longevity of its products, while also allowing consumers to move on to its newly introduced products, Ikea launched "The Second Hand Campaign." The campaign advertised customers' used Ikea products through outdoor, print, broadcast and web banners. Beyond that, Ikea turned its Facebook Page into a digital flea market for sellers and buyers to meet each Sunday.
 PARTICIPATION The best brands focus on managing a community of supporters, rather than on managing a set of brand standards. Brands that implicitly invite participation – without demanding it – are the ones that rule in a world where consumers will participate whether the brand asks or not. 
 When consumers can find ways to contribute ideas or influence the brand and its experiences, feeling a sense of ownership and authorship, it makes it easier for the brand to activate that person as an advocate. And because participation requires engagement, consumers’ brand encounters are also more memorable over time.
 24-Hour Runway As the only fabric suitable for all 24 hours of the day, Cotton has an annual tradition of hosting a 24 Hour Runway complete with a look every minute – 1440 total. This time, Cotton employed a Style Search Squad that traveled across the country to find the most diverse cotton looks and celebrate consumers’ local style. Users were invited to submit their looks for a chance to inspire the final style on the runway.
 Once finalists had been selected, users voted to select the six regional style setters who have inspired a nation of cotton style enthusiasts. They represented their regional cotton style at Cotton’s 24-Hour Runway Show in South Beach. In doing so, Cotton effectively moved a runway show from passive viewers to active participants who walked away with a compelling experience.
  38. PRINCIPLE 2 INVITE PARTICIPATION Pop Secret’s Pop Dongle Some brands are so simple that in order to invite participation and become closer with their consumers, the brands must create ancillary brand experiences beyond their core offering. Enter Pop Secret’s Pop Dongle: a mobile phone attachment that emits the sweet- and-salty smell of popcorn as you play the brand's mobile game, Poptopia.
 Each time users swipe the butter inside the game, driving players to pop corn kernels, the Dongle will emit a spritz of popcorn scent. The Pop Dongle represents Pop Secret's first test of a non-edible product in the market. The company has created three limited edition Dongles being auctioned off on eBay, with proceeds going to the American Red Cross.
 Robot Trips to Italy A core part of San Pelligrino’s brand is the delivery of Italian culture with its product. To help deliver on the sparkling water's promise, it launched a "Three Minutes in Italy" promotion. Leveraging five robots, on August 8th through 17th, Facebook users could remotely control robots, in real-time that toured around Italy – meeting new people and taking in the culture. 
 San Pellegrino's Facebook fans were able to participate by signing up to drive the ground- bots for 180 seconds, viewing the town in live. The robots were equipped with tablets displaying users' Facebook profile pictures, and a translation program allowed participants to talk with local residents with the help of an on-the-ground ambassador.
  40. PRINCIPLE 3 USER FIRST DESIGN Great experiences start with a solid set of consumer insights about how a brand fits around its users. By understanding consumers’ natural inclinations towards and behaviors with your product, service or organization and catering to it, experiences become more efficient and more effective. Investment required to get people involved decreases, because people don't need to be convinced.
 In addition to the broad success that user-first design creates, it also has a broader halo effect on the brand. Often, empathetic brand experiences stand out from a pack that appears deaf to consumers wants, needs 
 and dreams.
 Secrets to Reveal To reignite brand loyalty for LEGO Star Wars and build excitement for the TV launch of Yoda Chronicles, LEGO got to the core of what made its consumers tick. By understanding the important collaborative nature of LEGO building between parents and kids, combined with the power of the Star Wars property, the brand created an epic and contagiously shareable campaign for adults and kids alike.
 The campaign prompted participants to discover what secrets Yoda had to reveal. Through a series of in-store, digital and live guessing experiences, Yoda ultimately revealed his (and LEGO’s) biggest secret ever – the largest LEGO creation ever, an X-Wing fighter, was revealed in Times Square, leading to #LEGOstarwarsNYC trending on Twitter.
  42. PRINCIPLE 3 USER FIRST DESIGN Budweiser Canada Hockey Alarm Last year, Budweiser found an important audience truth that tied to its product: Budweiser is in hand at hockey’s biggest moments. The brand dedicated itself to taking the fan experience to the next level by creating the Bud Red Light – a wi-fi enabled iconic goal light and horn.
 Budweiser actually put the product on sale – selling out its first batch in 2013 in no time. It even created content about a representative from the brand installing Red Lights in its consumers homes to generate further demand. Though it certainly is unusual for a beer company to get into an Internet of Things product, Budweiser’s user-first design guided the brand to a huge success.
 Simplicity Challenge As Target monitored the issues and conversations that were important to its employees and guests, it found that healthcare was one of the remaining parts of its business that wasn’t as straightforward as consumers would have liked. Target launched a means to draw from the wisdom of the end-users: the Simplicity Challenge, a nationwide search for innovative ideas to simplify healthcare.
 The initiative, built to crowdsource the best ideas for healthcare from students, innovators, designers and entrepreneurs, underscores the retailer’s commitment to creating simple and engaging experiences. The Target Simplicity Challenge launched with the purpose of helping people make positive lifestyle and prevention choices and helping people live well with a chronic condition. Ideas were put to a public vote prior to a grand prize being dispensed and Target working to implement it.
  44. PRINCIPLE 4 INSPIRE SHARING Brands can’t buy the most powerful form of advertising: recommendations of family and friends. But marketers can give consumers something that they actually want to talk about and share. A combination between a brilliant creative idea, execution that is native to social platforms and in-person conversations and social purpose can inspire third party endorsements that work to create the shortest path to purchase possible.
 In a generation defined by the ‘like’ button and prompts to ‘tweet us’, however, brands must be discerning. It takes a lot more than the click of a button or 140 characters to truly develop a bond with a brand. And there’s a difference between demanding or incentivizing sharing and truly inspiring it. At the end of the day, the consumers sharing know the difference and so do the recipients of their sentiments.
 Beauty Sketches Knowing that all great sharing success stories start with great content, Dove found a polarizing topic for the brand to speak out about: Over half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic, which equates to 672 million women around the world. 
 Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches video, which uses an FBI-trained sketch artist to show women that they’re seen as more beautiful than they see themselves, garnered more than 114 million views in its first month released. The video was shared 3.74 million times, which makes it the third most shared video of all time – yielding one of the best share to view rates of all time.
  46. PRINCIPLE 4 INSPIRE SHARING Honda’s Project 
 Drive-In Brands can also trigger sharing by bringing underrepresented issues to light for consumers. Honda recently launched Project Drive-In, the brand’s national effort to help save drive-ins facing closure due to the end of 35mm film distribution. Through the effort, Honda has been able to generate a groundswell of support for drive-ins, encouraging users to share the cause with family and friends to help fund the theaters.
 By leveraging crowd-funding platform Indiegogo along with, Honda has been able to save several of the nation’s storied drive-ins. Meanwhile, Honda has connected its brand with one of America’s favorite past-times and a feel-good mission.
  47. PRINCIPLE 4 INSPIRE SHARING Nivea’s Dare to Dip Nivea believes women are at their best when they feel confident in their natural skin. Yet 79% of women in the UK cover up their ‘bikini bellies’ in public. Nivea set out to change that and celebrate women who were willing to break the mold and dare to take their first dip of the summer in a very exposed way. Women were encouraged to sign up to take their first plunge of the summer in glass tanks in London’s Covent Garden. So many women were inspired by the call to action that tickets sold out in 24 hours. Women were so excited to share their newfound confidence that they demanded more opportunities to Dare to Dip, so the campaign set out on the road. Nivea crowdsourced the demand for other dipping locations and over 70,000 women shared their pledge online. The campaign since has expanded across the continent.
  48. PRINCIPLE 5 ON (NOT IN) THE WAY Brands have evolved — from the interruptions between the content you really wanted to view — to, increasingly, the creators of content you can’t help but consume and share. 
 The fuse on “native advertising” is short (though it works today), because not enough brands are taking its quality seriously. As regulations tighten and consumers grow wise to advertisers’ tricks, brands stand to once again become barriers that consumers avoid, rather than the destinations they seek.
  49. PRINCIPLE 5 ON (NOT IN) THE WAY IBM Smart Ideas for Smarter Cities One of the greatest examples of the evolution of marketing from disruptive product-based selling to an on the way thought leadership campaign is IBM’s work with Smarter Cities. The brand’s campaign is a centrifuge of inspiration and helpful content meant to inspire the world’s leaders to imagine solutions to some of the world’s greatest problems.
 As an extension of the campaign, IBM launched a series of outdoor ads around Paris that double as a bench, a shelter or a ramp. The functional twist on otherwise interruptive advertising delivers perfectly on the sentiment behind IBM’s Smarter Cities campaign.
  50. PRINCIPLE 5 ON (NOT IN) THE WAY Flower Council of Holland Emergency Flowers This Valentine’s Day, the Flower Council of Holland installed 1,500 ‘emergency’ flower boxes containing a rose. Each one reads, "In case of love at first sight, break glass.” The cellophane exterior allowed passer-bys easy access to the flower within and the resulting video showing the boxes in use was a romantic way to reach consumers around one of the flower industry’s biggest days of the year. 
 Consumers were sent to continue the journey online, where they could use Twitter and Facebook to get a chance to win their very own boxes. They were also encouraged to share the video with their social networks.
  51. PRINCIPLE 5 ON (NOT IN) THE WAY Red Tomato Pizza 
 VIP Fridge Magnet In Dubai, home delivery is the norm when it comes to food, but restaurants that consumers eat at frequently never remember their customers’ orders. Red Tomato Pizza knew that they wanted to generate more loyalty and retain its best customers and that this dynamic presented a serious problem.
 Red Tomato changed the delivery playing field by creating a VIP Fridge Magnet that was Bluetooth connected to consumers’ smart devices. At the push of a fridge magnet button, an order was placed for that consumer’s favorite pizza instantly. Preferences could be adjusted online and the brand experience soared as a result.
  52. What’s at stake? — Experience leaders have experienced a 69% stock price advantage over experience laggards.
  53. The experience gap Brands 
 as verbs Add value Invite participation User-first design Inspire sharing Be on the way IN REVIEW…
 #ExperienceGap #FutureM e: m: + 1.602.741.0314 t: @BenGrossman w: Read our blog: Follow us on Twitter: @JackMorton Visit us online: BEN GROSSMAN
  56. The experience gap — Closing the distance between brand 
 promise and proof

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80% of leaders say their brands offer a superior customer experience. Only 8% of customers agree. Meanwhile, marketers are tortured by the fact that the number one way people learn about and buy from their brands is the hardest one to control: word-of-mouth. In today’s world of new realities it doesn’t pay for brands to stand by, continuing to trumpet their “creative messaging.” After all, 74% of people advocate for brands by describing their experiences with them. Brands that break through are brands that take action… brands that are more than nouns. Brands must see themselves as verbs.


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