By Daphne Hoytt, SVP, MSL Atlanta, NA Consumer Practice Director
In today’s modern world, it goes without that saying that exclusivity is what moves the needle in consumer brand communication. Consumers want to feel that a certain brand will provide a unique benefit or experience that another company cannot, or that fellow consumers will not receive. It’s the same theory that explains why brands promote their products as the best on the market, and their events as can’t-miss experiences!
The evolution of technology has fostered – and will continue to foster – a world where consumer and brand ideas have more platforms to come to life. An unprecedented mix of virtual reality and big data have eliminated consumer engagement boundaries, and mobility has enabled brands to make connections through experiences and feelings rather than just words.
Exploring new frontiers for impactful storytelling
As we look ahead, we need to prepare for versatile engagement that emphasizes this newfound exclusivity and embrace how technology eliminates barriers to brand storytelling – and in fact helps us find the best people and channels to tell that story.
Just some of the many possibilities that will open up for communicators in the future:
- Modern communications will involve creating, executing and promoting exclusive events not bound to one location.
- Media can participate in press conferences or media events from their home PC, mobile device or VR headset.
- Influencers can take part in virtual tours or showcases that highlight product benefits and reinforce vital brand messages without leaving their couch. Now, it will be easier to create “exclusive events” across virtual channels, and generate buzz and conversation previously hindered by timing, logistics and cost challenges.
In turn, virtual technologies will transform the consumer experience, turning their wants and visualizations into reality – a critical advantage that brands can use to promote themselves as leaders and innovators if done correctly. Virtual channels will allow consumers to envision their purchases before buying them.
For instance, The Home Depot’s Project Color app allows home renovation pros and DIY home renovators to design a virtual room during consultation. Customers can digitally sample a range of paint colors to find their desired match. Or, if they want a specific color, they can simply upload a photo from which the app can extract an exact color comparison – imagine getting the exact right red shade of paint from a desert sunset. There’s both a practicality and “cool factor” to such platforms and applications that previously did not exist, and on which brands and communicators can capitalize.
While the technology that drives PR will change how we operate, the core of what we do does not – building relationships and crafting messages that inspire change and deliver brand expectations. The brands and communicators who can quickly adopt these technologies to tell their stories in a consumer’s limitless world will be the ones best prepared to succeed.
This article is a part of “PR 2020 The Dawn of the Augmented Influence” published by MSL’s People’s Insights team that covers the latest trends in engagement on both the consumer and corporate side.
Daphne brings over sixteen years of brand building and marketing communications expertise to MSL. In her current role, she is the North America Consumer Practice Director and the Client Engagement Director and senior strategist for a leading CPG/nutrition brand. During her tenure at MSL, Daphne has developed and managed high-profile US and global PR programs and product launches for some of the world’s recognizable consumer goods, retail and healthcare companies.
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