MARIANA FRESNO APARICIO
Client Service Director
Millward Brown, Argentina
We are living in a liquid age, since nothing seems to be stable, nothing lasts forever. Suddenly, those things that were safe turned into something unstable, while some new trends arose and changed the rules. We all live and work in the same environment, and in the jungle of business, those who best adapt to the current context are the ones who thrive and survive.
The political and economic context poses short-term challenges and mid-term uncertainties. But all-level management is used to facing changes, and brands in Argentina have mastered the skills of elasticity. As a result, we see a lot of examples of brands that look ahead, despite the success of their past.
CREATING EVER CLOSER RELATIONSHIPS
Technological development and its cascade to a larger population have enabled a dramatic change, since the new media environment is shaping the way we communicate with our friends and family. By using different applications and platforms, we are able to talk with someone who is in China, at no cost, while sharing files and videos. In this context, the notion of distance and closeness has to be redefined. And this also applies to the relationship between brands and consumers: What does it mean for a brand to be close to its consumers? How can we foster the technical advancement to get closer? What does it take to remain meaningful?
Let’s consider some concrete examples of brands that are surfing the new trends while tackling specific consumers’ issues:
- In Argentina, Unilever is the undisputed leader in the personal care market in general, and in antiperspirant deodorants for women in particular, is managing two well-known brands: Rexona and Dove. While taking care of the environment is an established trend, consumers are not so willing to spend more money in favor of eco-friendly products, since many of them could not meet the basic functional needs of the category. But Unilever is challenging this pattern, because they are launching smaller packaging which saves raw materials (less aluminum and others) but keeps the protective power of the product, promising to last the same as the original pack. This bold initiative requires a clear communication using a wide range of touchpoints in order to convey the message in a believable way. We are confident that with this Unilever will reaffirm its leadership by offering a technical solution that keeps protecting you against perspiration while setting new trends in the category.
- Ford Argentina is another illustration of a brand clearly focused on using technology as a way to differentiate from competitors and to command a premium price. All the recent launches have endorsed the idea of “Kinetic Design”, which allowed the parent brand to leverage all the efforts made by each model in each segment. The last campaign successfully introduced specific features (automatic opening, push-bottom star, active park assist, lane-keeping system, automatic brake at low speed) using an impactful and synergetic communication that promoted both the vehicles and the brand. As a result, Ford remain close to their customers and challenges the status quo of the category by implementing high-end technology.
- There is a preconception that traditional media such as newspapers or TV channels are the most concerned about the development of new platforms. However, successful companies are able to see the opportunity in every crisis, and TV channel Telefé is proof of that. Instead of fighting the alternative screens, they look for ways of integrating them into their content, thus they can create a new experience for the audience. They have launched a mobile app (Mi Telefé) that allows people to see exclusive content that enriches the experience of watching a TV show, by giving the chance to participate and to follow “behind the scenes”. TV Series “Aliados” was a hit among teenagers, because they could interact with the story wherever and whenever they wanted, and they could watch webisodes before aired.
In conclusion, the key to success is to embrace technological change in a way that creates value for the consumers, making their lives easier and more enjoyable. Following Socrates’ principle, the secret of change is to focus all the energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.