There is one thing common in the world these days. Each one of us has a ubiquitous, intangible friend carefully curated by the digital moguls around the world, a friend who knows us inside out and yet follows us like a pleasant shadow.
Didn’t you feel special the last time you ordered online and the options lined up according to your past preferences or when a mobile app customized itself according to your needs on when a brand started treating you like its most special customer after your very first purchase? The key word here is ‘Engagement’.
Each and every brand out there racing vigorously on the digital track, is aiming for one big goal – To engage the customer in such a way that he/she never finds a way away from the brand.
‘Engagement’ does not only mean connecting with the customer, but also enabling the customer to connect with your brand, and the latter makes this all the more interesting as well as challenging. Social media plays a paramount role in this case because that is where the customer spends most of his/her time.
Extreme personalization, lifestyle integration, innovation in connect, breakthrough ideas and social loyalty is what makes ‘Engagement’ a success.
‘Our purpose at P&G is to touch and improve lives; everything we do is in that context. With digital technology, it’s now possible to have a one-on-one relationship with every consumer in the world. The more intimate the relationship, the more indispensable it becomes. We want to be the company that creates those indispensable relationships with our brands, and digital technology enables this.’
– Robert McDonald, Retired President and CEO of P&G
Considering that the above statement was made in the year 2012 makes it clear that 2015 is a road way ahead of that. Not only have brands understood the importance of having a one-on-one relation with the customers, they are incessantly innovating in their ways to do so.
Talking about innovation in connect, Red Bull pulled off a phenomenal campaign in order to connect with its customers. Red Bull sponsored a live video of Felix Baumgartner jumping from a space capsule at the edge of space and in the most innovative way, communicated its tagline – ‘Red Bull gives you wings.’
Coca- Cola used the mobile world to connect with its customers. To spur consumers’ connection with the brand, Coca-Cola rolled out a campaign in China that put lines from popular songs on bottles of soda, allowing for on-demand access to content and creating a shareable experience via popular social application WeChat.
Each Lyric Coke bottle featured a QR code that could be scanned to activate a short clip featuring the lyric on that bottle. The animated musical clips were designed specifically to be shareable in social media, and were positioned as a new way to consume music – the shareable musical sound bite.
Lakme’s latest digital marvel is a step towards social loyalty. Endorsed by the actress Shradha Kapoor, the brand has a mobile app wherein one can see herself wearing different styles of makeup by Lakme using real-time. This app would be linked with one’s social profiles as well. With this app, Lakme literally becomes your styling expert all across social media.
A spectacular example of lifestyle integration is what General Electric did with app-linked LED bulb that links to a mobile application and enables consumers to remotely control their home lighting from anywhere by syncing with their smartphones. Wink, produced by GE-backed startup Quirky, currently connects numerous GE/Quirky smart-home products over a Wi-Fi network.
Denny’s restaurant in United States cracked a breakthrough idea to connect with its customers and at the same time drive sales, with the ‘50 state challenge’ mobile app and promotion. Using this app the customers can explore localities and also do individual or group check- in at the Denny’s restaurant to receive offers and exciting prizes. The ultimate prize for checking in on all 50 Denny’s restaurants across US is whooping free Grand slams for life.
With the brands consistently exploring different horizons of digital in order to connect with its customers, we might reach a stage wherein we shout out a brand’s name when asked ‘Who is your best friend?’