Richard Breitengraser (CEO, VOID International Media Group) is a global brand, content, video, marketing & strategy executive.
The past year has changed all of our lives — the way we work, live, love and laugh. This was a code red for global marketing departments. Experience from previous crises shows that the worst thing brands can do in a crisis is cut marketing budgets, yet many have done it, sometimes down to zero. I’ve observed that this has already had demonstrable consequences for the health of some brands.
However, after a short period of licking wounds, a few companies have managed to make perfect use of the digital possibilities and disrupt entire business ideas with new approaches. Let’s take a look at a few ways your brand can do the same.
A Time For Pioneering
As we’ve seen over the past year, when businesses stay closed for some time, this can drive the pace of digitization. Would you spend $11.99 on shoes you’ll never be able to physically wear? It might sound funny, but nonfungible tokens (NFTs) now make it possible. NFTs could be the new revenue stream for the luxury, lifestyle and entertainment industry. They are the new digital status symbols, and the hype with NFTs has shown an increase in trust and demand for digital products.
Brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs are turning prêt-à–porter into net-à-porter. They are using NFTs to outfit game characters (registration required) in esports with branded clothing. Musicians like Lindsay Lohan have also jumped on the bandwagon. Her single “Lullaby” was released as an NFT. And at Christie’s, a JPG file by artist Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann sold for $69 million (registration required). I believe it’s only a matter of time before movies, music, art, fashion or status symbols are sold exclusively via blockchain-based NFTs.
This is the time to look at how your brand and its marketing can incorporate NFTs or other ways your brand can become a pioneer in the digital space.
The Power Of Livestreaming
According to an industry report from SaaS Scout Research Group, mobile market share has increased by 222% in the past five years. The average person will spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos in 2021. And what I’ve noticed within a wide variety of research studies is that the only thing more successful than a video is live video.
Live video streaming can push your marketing to the next level. You “hack” the algorithm because social platforms prioritize live content in their newsfeeds. Thanks to Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, any brand can become a broadcaster. For platforms like Twitch and YouNow, livestreaming is in the DNA of the business model. So, start streaming and give your videos the reach they truly deserve.
And while we’re discussing livestreaming, how is your live video strategy?
BuzzFeed shows how successfully livestreaming works with its millions of views on Facebook, and Royal Caribbean entered completely new territory with OOH livestreaming. Also, luxury brands recognize the hype and use live broadcasts as a secret weapon. While Ralph Lauren staged its latest collection in a Hollywood-like live film with “Once upon a time, we gathered,” Cartier invited attendees to an exclusive invitation-only private broadcast event. Each attendee received a unique invitation code to attend the exclusive show. Guests were asked not to make anything public online about the hour-long live video, and the press was not invited either.
Live video allows everything traditional video allows, including shows, talks, games and shopping, but most importantly, live video allows for mistakes. Not everything has to be perfect. It can thrive on the charm of authenticity. That doesn’t mean you just turn on the camera and go. The key is to prepare and practice.
Create recurring and different kinds of live video formats, and establish fixed times and faces. Surprise your viewers with different actions, exclusive access or insights, or vouchers that can only be obtained in the livestream that reward the viewer, strengthen the loyalty and ensure exclusivity and curiosity for the next time. Think about a rough road map, plan the content and always have a common thread, but don’t make the mistake of memorizing moderations or texts, which is exactly the opposite of what makes live video so popular with viewers. Live video is authentic, dynamic, engaging and a bit thrilling.
Incorporating Co-Branding And Co-Marketing
Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures, and thus something completely new is created. To give you some background, co-branding helps create new products, while co-marketing refers to combined marketing efforts. An example of co-marketing is the Uber and Spotify campaign. Imagination and lateral thinking are the keys to success here.
With a look at Milka and Oreo, AirBnB and Lego, Starbucks and Spotify, or most recently, Gucci and Balenciaga, we can see that co-branding is also the first step into a new platform era. Brands must become cooperative platforms, and only then can the market continue to grow. There is always the threat of stagnation with a brand’s story, but the opportunity for brand metamorphosis beckons. Cooperation with the right partner can lead to mutually vitalizing branding.
And the fact that it works is proven by the fact that some co-branding is almost inseparable these days: Cue Apple Watch Nike+ or Louis Vuitton x Supreme.
The advantage is obvious: As platforms, the partners reach a broader audience, plenty of social/marketing buzz is generated, and beyond that, all partners have the chance to diversify and increase value creation as well as improve brand perception. It will also be necessary for leading global brands, regardless of the industry, to become more and more of a platform and bring together ideas, values, reach, relevance and capabilities.
In the future, co-branding can only lead to more diversity and innovation. The future is now!