We’ve recently been working with a range of senior partners at Ernst & Young developing a content platform asking better questions of our nation.
As part of the immersion with the business we have been talking about some of the most pressing questions that our nation needs to be thinking about through the digital transformation era we live in.
One of the themes we uncovered, involves improving consumers’ digital experience, and how to ensure that your employees don’t get left behind.
Kurt Solarte, Leading Digital and Emerging Technologies Partner for EY Oceania, believes that the most vulnerable point does not directly deal with the customer themselves, but is more to do with the employees not being adequately enabled to win the customer over. Kurt explains that an employee can be easily ‘exposed’ in front of a customer, no matter how advanced or complex their toolset is.
“The customer now has more information about their service than the customer service person behind the desk or at the other end of the phone. Millions are spent on websites, apps and marketing, but staff are often working in the dark.”
“Employees are customers too - we should be turning them into valuable advocates for the brand.”
One of the approaches we have found highly successful is by not only looking at the research and data, but also immersing ourselves within the business, talking to the people who are on the front line.
From there developing a content mission to communicate internally the vision values and purpose of the business supported by a range of content pillars.
This includes content that brings the values to life, using visually rich content such as inspiring films to tell the story;
The content pillar that always gets plenty of love is the brand pillar....
But a powerful brand campaign should win them in the corridors before it goes to market and begins driving awareness and engagement with consumers. By doing this when customers do click on the website or come into your business, your staff will be on an empowered playing field to develop that relationship further with your customer…..instead of giving the customer that dreaded blank stare.
In the age of digital and social content the other key content pillar is learning and training.
Using content for training allows team members to stay up to date with product knowledge and initiatives within the business.
We find building interactive content platforms that allow team members to learn on any device at their own time and pace is the 3rd pillar that needs as much strategy and creative storytelling as a brand campaign and should always be executed in the brands tone of voice:
The old “the customer always come first” adage should be re thought as a people led approach.
Both customer and team centric, using the great content through the best digital channels, in a way that enables your team to have as much knowledge as the senior team of the business and allows them to become as great an advocate for your business as your most passionate customers.
To find out more about this inside out approach, please get in touch.
In the last 2 years we’ve seen more content generated than in the entire history of mankind.
...And yes a lot of that content is highly disposable.
However, in that time, we’ve also seen a lot of brands jump on the quick fix list of getting influencers to create the content - and while they may get some vanity metrics and potentially some increase in awareness, the content is often not aligned to the brand tone of voice, disparate and does not drive consumer action.
The other timeless marketing strategy has been to align brands to the original influencers, high profile sport, or sponsorship of high profile lifestyle events - whether it be music, fashion or the good old celebrity endorsement.
This is all about brand fit, not what the CEO is a fan of, (which still is sometimes the case!) To do this we use a range of data tools that takes the brand purpose, values and personality to find the right partnership opportunity.
Going down this path is a tried and true approach, but have a think about for example, the Australian Open, and try and name 7 brands who were partners in this years open?
...I bet you get stuck at 2 or 3.
And the ones you remember were gold partners plastered everywhere, OR the brands who took the time and had the courage to play the sponsorship game differently.
This is where finding the athletes in the sport who align with your values and personality is crucial. This is also where taking the time to craft a story that highlights this shared purpose comes into play.
We recently did a campaign with NEC, bringing their core value of lets play to win to life with Dylan Alcott and Joe Deng, with some powerful results:
The other brave way to play the game differently is what Guinness have done with the 'Made of More' series, which champions real people around the globe, instead of high-profile sports people. REAL PEOPLE who act with extraordinary integrity and character, to enrich the world around them. Previous films have included ‘Sisters,’ which told the story of two sisters who rose through rugby to eventually play for opposing England and Scotland national teams, and ‘Never Alone,’ which recounted the poignant story ofGareth Thomas, who, through the strength he received from his team, had the courage to become the first openly gay professional rugby union player.
We love the recent chapter in this series of mini documentaries, where in a year, men’s rugby will dominate the headlines, Guinness has unveiled the inspirational story of a Japanese women’s rugby team who stood together, in the face of societal pressure and pursued their passion for the game.
'Liberty Fields' tells the remarkable tale of a group of women who defied the social conventions of 80s Japan, by forming an ultimately indomitable rugby team. In 1989 Tokyo, women’s rugby was almost unheard of, and the team faced ridicule and hostility from all angles. Despite their humble beginnings, they soon became one of the strongest sides around, with many being selected to represent their country in the Women’s World Cup.
Liberty Fields RFC played at this level despite having no coach, no doctor and very little support, instead relying on what they did have – a team. Balancing training with jobs and families, they set a new level for women’s sport in Japan, showing what you can achieve with grit, determination, and an unbreakable spirit.
What a fantastic way to share the brand’s purpose and values.
The other brave element, is that they have been far from overt about brand-telling the story as opposed to their approach of enabling the story to be told - then taking time to craft the story into a 5 minute mini documentary.
Our writers and directors love the way they have utilised the good old vox pop which needed to be used - but then have worked with the team to source old footage and then re create both game moments, and moment in the teams lives that highlight the struggles they went through during the elation of their journey.
If you enjoy this work and feel it is something that your brand should be doing, we would be delighted to get involved.
One of the reasons we focus on our client's purpose is this: when a value or belief resonates from the inside out it has the power to define, unite and propel a business to great growth. Purpose doesn’t need to be charity or cause marketing, but it needs to encapsulate how the business adds value to people’s lives and it needs be owned by the senior team and the board of a business.
The best brands we work with know their purpose and live it through every part of the business. They use that purpose not as an advertising strap line or a content campaign burst, but as a guiding light for everything they do.
We’ve been working with the team at The NRMA for almost five years and the reason the content we create with them resonates is because it lives their purpose.
Rohan Lund, his talented team and the board make big decisions around their purpose: “To keep people moving”. This drives their major acquisitions, from investing in holiday parks to the Manly Fast Ferry service. It also helps us, as content creators, generate a content mission and relevant content-led campaigns.
Whether it be an internal welcome clip for new staff:
or a content-led campaign that highlights the work they do in the community.
The P word in Europe
This year in Cannes the P word came up a lot. And the notion that when you’re running your business and telling your purpose story, you can’t be partly committed.
Unilever CEO Alan Jope wrote a blog that called out brands for cause-washing and woke-washing, which pollutes purpose.
"It’s putting in peril the very thing which offers us the opportunity to help tackle many of the world’s issues and, in doing so, to build our brands,” he said. "What’s more, it threatens to further destroy trust in our industry, when it’s already in short supply. Marketing has a titanic trust problem."
The proof is in the numbers. On June 11 in London, Big Al announced that their purpose-led, Sustainable Living Brands are growing 69% faster than the rest of the business and delivering 75% of the company’s growth. Addressing the Deutsche Bank conference, Alan said:
“Two-thirds of consumers around the world say they choose brands because of their stand on social issues, and over 90% of millennials say they would switch brands for one which champions a shared belief or cause... Purpose creates relevance for a brand, it drives talkability, builds penetration and reduces price elasticity,”
Unilever’s commitment is so strong that in the future, he says, every Unilever brand will be a brand with purpose.
Back in our patch
In a catch-up I had last week with the CMO of a big FMCG group, he mentioned the Purpose word had become over used – probably owing to some marketers and agencies giving it lip service and then serving up tactical price-point or product-proof solutions.
Personally I believe you have to nurture your purpose, live it through every action the brand takes, and tell the story in a way that is compelling and relevant to your audience, so they want to get involved and join your brand’s crusade.
So have a think about your why, how it aligns to your personal values and the cultural context of your customers. Then ask yourself whether you’re nurturing your brand purpose to its full potential, or just giving it lip service.
Our goal at 3rdspace is to help more businesses define their purpose with our content mission process. If you’d like to find out more drop us a note.
Rob Logan is the founder and head of content at 3rdspace - The Content Company
All across socials last night were images and tributes to Robert J. Hawke.
Because Bob had purpose.
Bob was plugged in to cultural context and had great insight.
Bob had a distinct personality and tone of voice.
Bob was a person of action and courage.
Like a good content strategy, he and what his team set out to achieve was to tell a story and create positive change in the world.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure if the main contenders for this election, will have the same impact and unfortunately the parties behind them are surrounded by very un-purposeful tacticians, that have got trapped into a lobbyist way of thinking.
In a nutshell their model is:
What do we stand for? A good start.
What will they say about it and us. (= fear)
What will we say about them (=The lowest hanging fruit for campaigning)
Unfortunately, the “leaders” are letting the highly paid and insight-less tacticians run their race - including social tactics using micro influencers with negative, foundless smear content.
In an age where brands, leaders and political parties have so many fantastic personalised resources available to them – they treat their audiences with a lack of respect and resort to the most basic of messaging and lack of imagination in telling their story.
All we can hope is that the memory of Bob inspires new potential leaders to step up and have a go, with a focus on what our culture and community needs. Hopefully having a clearly defined purpose to create positive action in our country.
If you can find them on Saturday, I think you may have to look outside the brat pack.
The views of the author are the views of 3rdspace.com.au
Recently I got into a bit of a debate on LinkedIn with a very experienced strategist about how purpose was a cop out for brands.
The debate went like a little like this:
We see purpose as why a brand exists, and indeed how it adds value to people’s lives, but it doesn’t mean that purpose or the supporting content strategy needs to be all about a cause.
Disney has been built on a purpose of “making people happy.” The team at Boost Juice, whom we worked with for years in the early days of 3rdspace (now they are so good at content they do it all in house), are another business who just ‘get it’ with their purpose: “To make you feel just that little bit better.”
That’s why we always start with the brand purpose, as how brands can align their content with not only the values of consumers, but how consumers love to live their lives.
If you have a fun brand, your purpose should drive to a goal such as making you feel just that little bit better through every interaction with the brand, including your content.
We’ve built a strategic process and framework that has worked time and time again to elevate brand scores quickly and most importantly, provoke involvement and action from consumers… it’s what we call a content mission, which we’d be very happy to share with anyone who is interested.
Rob Logan is founder and head of content @ 3rdspace – The Content Company
Often brands jump at the chance to use new technology without thinking about the bigger picture. What’s this content trying to achieve and why are we doing it? Is it just making new content using new (ish) media platforms, just for the sake of it?
Here at 3rdspace we’re all about content with purpose, every time a brief comes across our desk – We ask how this content will add value to peoples lives and what is the best way to bring that content to life to have true impact.
One such buzz platform, is that of Virtual Reality. It seems like everyone these days is trying to get a piece of the VR pie, often without thinking about the WHY, and just jumping on the train to give it a go just because everyone else is, to add that string to their bow. VR can be an incredible storytelling tool, if used in the right way, to really share a story in an immersive way, that was previously impossible. It’s with this in mind that we decided to use VR to create a highly emotive series of VR experiences for Vinnies as part of the CEO Sleepout, working with our partners at PWC.
On any given night in Australia one in 200 people are homeless – that is a total of 105,237 people.
It’s heartbreaking to read these statistics, but with Vinnies and PWC we felt we had to go beyond the statistics to enable people to understand the impact.
We produced a series of three VR experiences around Domestic Violence, Homelessness and Mental Illness, collaborating with PWC’s content production team, so some of Australia’s leading CEOs could be placed in the middle of a situation in a fully immersive and somewhat confronting situation.
Feedback on the night can only be described as highly thought provoking, and poignant as the CEO’s were brought into real-life scenarios facing many Australian’s every day.
For us, this is the powerful way for VR to be used to its full advantage, an immersive story that creates a lasting impact. We’re looking forward to making more content that utilises this technology, where appropriate and we are very honoured to be working alongside an organisation of passionate people that are committed to creating positive change.
Thanks to all at Vinnies and PWC on this very special collaboration.
Lights Camera Action! Before your brand can hit the red carpet, there are a few questions to ask.
The Given Circumstances technique, is one of the most common ways an actor prepares for a role. It’s the practice of asking a series of questions to understand as much as you can about your character and their given circumstances. From start-ups to rebranding, this is a technique we as a Brand Purpose Agency use, and you can apply to your brand, to help deliver a star performance.
Here they are…
WHO AM I? As an actor you ask, what kind of person is my character? What has made me who I am today?
As a brand - What kind of brand are you? What is your personality? What do customers think of you? How do they see you? How do you see yourself?
Beyond the product you make eg: “we make sticky tape” – how did you get to making sticky tape, what shaped that journey, why do you make sticky tape? How is your sticky tape different? Is that all you make or want to make?
WHERE AM I? As an actor you ask, where your character physically is, in the scene? What or who is around me? How do I feel about them? Am I by the ocean? If so am I afraid because I can't swim, am I in awe, am I excited, do I want to jump in?
As a brand, you can ask the same. Where are you in the market? What events are going on around you with your competitors, customers in the news etc. How does that effect your brand? How does that affect you or influence your brand? How can you take advantage of the situation?
WHEN IS IT? As an actor, you ask what time of day/year / season etc it is in your scene? Where your character has just come from, where they are going after this scene?
As a brand the same questions are relevant. Where have you come from to get to today, and where are you going? How does your past and what is happening right now affect your brand tomorrow?
WHAT DO I WANT? As an actor, these are key questions. They drive your OBJECTIVES. A character might have distractions or obstacles, but they must have a desire, want, or need to do something, say something, be somewhere. This is what drives the scene and action.
As a brand, this is equally as important. What are your brand's immediate objectives – needs, desires? These must feed into your main objective – your overall objective or goal. All brands must know what they are. Make them clear and simple and do everything to achieve them. This defines your brand.
WHY DO I WANT IT? This is the JUSTIFICATION or MOTIVATION for an actors’ objective. A reason for doing it, wanting it, needing it.
What’s your brand's reason or motivation to achieve its objective? Making money, or selling are the first thoughts, but you need to look beyond that and ask - why do you do what you do?
If you can answer this, you will find real purpose to build your brand on. And that is powerful.
HOW WILL I GET IT? What an actor does to get their OBJECTIVE is called an ACTION. They may beg, plead, tease, threaten, seduce and so on. When an actor tries a few and goes for the less obvious actions it becomes more interesting and entertaining.
What actions will your brand take to get its objectives? Have you looked at all the ways you can get there? Tried new ways? Be inventive.
WHAT MUST I OVERCOME? An actor asks what are my OBSTACLES, what is in my way of reaching my OBJECTIVES? There are always obstacles – that’s life. Its what makes trying to get your objective as an actor in a scene interesting. You see it lots in comedy, suspense and horror films.
Brand wise – what is it that is delaying you, stopping you, hindering you, getting in the way of your objective? Now how do you get around it, change it, what do you have to adjust… to get there? What can you do differently?
WHAT’S AT STAKE IF I DON’T GET WHAT I WANT? As an actor, the greater the stakes the more interesting the performance. Usually, your life or the life of someone you love is regarded as the biggest “stake” in acting. They can also be related to lovers, money, friends, jobs, respect etc.
Brand wise – what will happen if you don’t get your objective? Do you give up? Or do you turn up the passion and energy and put your heart and soul into it. Try new things, different things to get your objective.
We live in a deep, multi-connected world; unless you choose to become a hermit, we all live in real-time across every key event. Whether it be our friends, community, national or global.
As we move with a changing world and society. What are our values, behaviours and beliefs and who do we believe?
Forrester data, Asia pacific online benchmark survey 2015 shows that three-quarters of Australian consumers read peer reviews on products or services, most consumers use social media to help get help with a product or service and 17% agree social media is the channel for them to endorse their favourite brand.
As communities, the environment, technology and social behaviours change, do businesses change with them?
Mobium’s living Lohas research shows how the attitude and behavioural change in Australians demonstrated in our consumption decisions and how we follow social trends. Mobium’s research segments the research in to four groups, leaders, leaning, learning and laggards.
These groups depict our changes in values, beliefs in sustainability, and our willingness to pay for premium products.
Are businesses considering these factors when placing content on communication channels and deciding how to engage with their audience?
For a brand, business or product to adapt to the change in social trends, it must define and lead with it’s brand purpose.
As consumers become more informed, the power is with the consumer.
Big businesses are seeing more competition from brands that want to offer solutions to social or environmental issues as part of their purpose. The big brands who sell on product alone, need to take note - people care about making a difference and so should brands.
Big or small, how can you start to change consumer behaviour? How can you as a business make a difference?
NRMA as a case study
For a business to be sustainable, the consumer must always come first, not just their needs, but what they care about in their lives and the lives of those they care about.
We are significantly more connected therefore more people are likely to share your story if it’s something that adds value to them and the community they care about.
NRMA has a purpose of keeping Australia moving, they recently worked with 3rdspace Social Media Agency to bring to life their purpose, as they ventured to Lightning Ridge to help drought stricken farmers, keep their machinery moving.
The content didn’t highlight a product attribute, but the reason why NRMA exists.
A purpose people were keen to support and share.