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The Total Experience Podcast
18 minutes | Jun 29, 2020
Now everything's f***ed, what's next?
It's the question that's on everyone's lips. We map out the role for brands and brand experience in building a brave new world.In this episode:We wrap up Season 1 of the Total Experience Podcast a.k.a. 'Brand Experience in the Age of Corona' by looking at what brands can do to shape our uncertain future in a positive way. With Richard Cable.A frame of referenceThe hero's journeyThe region of supernatural wonderThe Spanish Flu of 1918, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the global protests of 1968 all rolled into oneA world facing economic catastrophe, global pandemic, racial injustice and inequalityPlanning for total victoryWhy it's not ridiculous to talk about brand experience at a time like this.Constructive thinkingSeismic changeHistory's horrible precedentsShaping the world for goodThe bandwagon is the place to beBrands and social progressCourageous individuals and grassroots movements - George Floyd and the humiliation of Donald TrumpThe purpose of a brandEmbracing, normalising and amplify positive change. Brand purpose is still bollocksCreating bandwagons of our ownBranded cynicismAligning what you do and what you sayRevenge spending and the slump to comeLockdown easing and rising optimism"Revenge spending"Government debt and small to medium business meltdownWhere brands add valueEnterprise value and powerful brandsRecklessness of neglecting your brandWhy brand experience is so important: brand, people, touchpoints and creativeBrandDigital transformation and innovationThe inherent dangers of short-termism and neglecting your brandAdidas as one to watchPeopleRadically altered customer demographics - new skills, asymmetrical effects, the positive effects of lockdownTouchpointsReweighting your brand ecosystemThe rise of social commerceThe re-rise of AR and VROnly as strong as your weakest touchpointCreativeCrises and creativityCreative red herringsGlitz and glamour vs grit and grimeThe birth of the anti-hero Smashing shibbolethsSummaryThe positive role for brands in unfucking the worldBeing on the right side of historyThe engine of recovery
26 minutes | Jun 8, 2020
McDonald's versus Coronavirus
Every day, McDonald's makes 40+ million Big Macs worldwide. How does the brand stay coherent in the face of a global pandemic and other enormous challenges?In this episode:We're joined by George Strakhov, Head of strategy EMEA for DDB, and Steve Griffiths, Chief Digital Officer for DDB Europe, both of whom work with McDonald's across 40+ markets.The scale of the McDonald's businessA dynamic and complex businessProduct and experienceDiversity of touchpointsGeographical diversityMenu diversitySegment diversityGuest counts and salesSpeed of the feedback loopDDB and McDonald'sFrom advertising to strategic planning and tactical activationMarket to market activationDigital transformationFocus on convenience - experience, accuracy and efficiencyOptimising process in a process driven companyChanging consumer tastes and experienceArtificial intelligenceCreating interconnected, intelligent touchpointsPreference and transactional dataLoyalty and longitudinal dataData driven marketing, analytics and experience designCreating a coherent brand experienceMaximising the interactionThe balance between delivering the most value for customer and businessShort term (activation) vs long term drivers (brand)Constantly adapting to circumstance - a very responsive businessMcDonald's and the Coronavirus crisisRestaurant closuresCautious reopeningFocus on crewThe perils of getting it wrongA return to the foundational elements of the businessPeople needing the basics more than ever - Quality, Service, CleanlinessThe 'bubble of happy'Producing 40 million Big Macs all the sameSwitch to drive thru, changes to menu, delivery changes, dark kitchensThe benefits of being a 'known quantity'Creating intergenerational connectionsHappy Meals and birthday partiesNo longer a family mealtimeScreen distractionsMatching the brand with the next generationInnovation and brand experienceEntrepreneurship vs innovationBazaars vs cathedralsThe difficulties of tech mediated brand experienceA gap that needs closingGiving franchisees and restaurant managers the capacity
19 minutes | May 27, 2020
A positive from the pandemic
We talk to Leonard Cheshire's 'Change 100' about enabling more people with disabilities to find careers in marketing, and ask if the lockdown can have a positive long-term impact on the way we work.In this episode:Verity Ayling-Smith, training and consultancy advisor with Leonard Cheshire and the 'Change 100' programme, and Priyanca Desouza, user researcher and former Change 100 intern.What disability isProtected characteristics, diversity and inclusionDisability as a normal and common thingBringing down the barriers in recruitment and the work environmentA wide range of accessibility needsThe visibility of disabilityDisability more prevalent than we realiseThe duty of employers to remove barriersChoosing whether or not to disclose your disabilityEmployers missing out on fantastic talentThe inexplicable employment gap for disabled peopleChange 100 and Leonard CheshireLeonard Cheshire's mission to support disabled peopleChange 100's mission to close the employment gap for disabled graduates and studentsMatching skills to rolesA highly competitive programmeThe popularity of marketing and communicationsThe challenging language of job descriptionsThe value of different life experiencesResilience, creativity and difference by defaultThe danger of the agency bubble and cookie-cutter thinkingActively welcoming and valuing a difference life experienceChampioning inclusive experience designThe 'amplified self'The problem with traditional recruitmentJim Carroll and the amplified selfExcellence vs mediocrityThe positives of the lockdown (for us all)How remoteness has brought colleagues closerA more personalised way of workingIt's not where you work but how - challenging office cultureBusiness investment in agile, remote working and managementA more autonomous, liberated and creative workforce
9 minutes | May 12, 2020
An insane story of isolation, humanity and brands
What can one man’s horrendous ordeal at the hands of a Japanese game show teach us about the need for more empathetic brand experiences?In this episode:January 1998: casting for a new showThe luck of the drawMeet NasubiA secret destination'A life out of prizes'Naked and alone with only a phoneThe million yen targetEggplants and modestyThe physical impact of isolationA starvation dietThe first roll of toilet paperWhat you own but can't useThe mental impact of isolationCurtailed stimulusCompensating for lack of emotional feedbackAnthropomorphisingRadical deterioration and mental sufferingDoubling down on the crueltyAn unwitting megastarVictory - suspendedNasubi in KoreaNasubi flies homeThe brutal show finaleWe are all NasubiParallel experiencesThe impact of isolationAn analogy for brand experienceMore anxious, more cautious, more socially isolated and lonelierThe practicalities of a post-Covid economyNot making isolation worseBe more 'Great British Bake Off"Enhancing what makes us humanBrands not just claiming human qualities but exhibiting them
13 minutes | May 4, 2020
What we can learn from America
The US has always had a special relationship with brands. We ask if we should be looking to the US for leadership, or vice versa?In this episode:Leigh Baker, founder of New York creative brand consultancy we@leighbaker, talks to us about the different approaches US and UK brands have taken to the Coronavirus crisis and what we can learn from both.How the US does brands differently Marketing at scaleImmediate impactThe hard sellWearing your heart on your sleeveThe US special relationship with brandsThe Super BowlClint Eastwood and "It's half time for America"Brands stepping into the breachWeak institutions leaving a vacuumThe 3 different approaches of American brandsBranding the moment - NikeDo something, but what? - American banksGood, honest promotional utility - Burger KingThe US reaction to the crisisWhy American brands don't stopCreative perils of group think Lockdown fatigue and reactive marketingGreen shoots of a new US brand behaviourA shift in tone - the new optimismIt's OK to be funny - GeicoHard times and escapismWhat the US can learn from the UKBrand experience beyond the advertisingGetting your digital act togetherA unified response from strong institutions
15 minutes | Apr 27, 2020
Why flying blind is a bad idea
Strategic research has a vital role to play in navigating us out of the current crisis, so why are brands cutting research projects?In this episode:Roger McKerr, founder of insight and strategy agency Davies McKerr, and Darren Savage, chief strategy officer at Tribal London and lecturer at the Oxford Business School, discuss the crucial role of research in shaping brand strategy as we emerge from the Covid 19 crisis.How the world has changedEver-shifting points of referenceDoing the unthinkableForget getting back to 'normal'Imposed behaviour change and new social normsImposed behavioursForming new rituals and habitsHow crisis exposes differencesChallenges to strategyA much more complex audience profileHow brands have responded to the crisisShutting down 'non-essential' activityThe IPA Bellweather ReportHalting strategic researchThe dangers of strategic short-termismParalysis through lack of analysisBrands that are doing wellNike's integrated brand experienceBrands that are doing badlyPrimark's devastating lack of ecommerceInsight as an enabler of actionBuilding new insightCreating confidenceWhat brands should do nextThe 5 point planIdentifying new consumer needs/preferencesGetting your tone of voice rightReviewing and revising media plansThinking about what your brand stands forCombining behaviours and communicationsPositives coming out of the crisisPositivity and human natureLeveraging our intuitive giftsInnovation and experimentation
15 minutes | Apr 17, 2020
Production in lockdown
It's been said that after a nuclear war, all that will be left are cockroaches and a production team making a film about them. How ever-resilient production is adapting to the lockdown.In this episode:Producers Flo Clive and Paris Palmer talk about how to keep making great work despite the lockdown.How hard has production been hit?The agency viewThe freelancer viewWhat are the lockdown regulations for producers?Government regulationsAgency policySafety firstWhat type of work is getting done?Adaptations and reworkingHome studiosPost production's defining momentPro bonoThe future is documentary style shootingUGCSelf shootingRemote directingThe importance of continuing to invest in marketing through a crisisHelping clients get back on the horseThe need for contingency and understandingGood work that's getting madeTesco Food Love StoriesOhio Department Of Health PSALucozade and Anthony JoshuaJoe Wicks' PE Lesson feat. George EzraHow brands should react to the crisisDeeds not wordsCan-do attitudePower of the peopleQuality vs quantityDon't be silentDo good things
10 minutes | Apr 7, 2020
Rethinking the way we work
The Coronavirus crisis has forced massive changes on the way we work. What can lockdown working teach us about building a better brand experience?This episode:Why is the colleague experience so important?An introduction to the three components of great brand experience.1) Customer experience2) Colleague experience3) Operational enablers - the tools to do the job.A cautionary tale about poor colleague experience.A much-loved heritage cheese brand neglects its colleague experience with devastating results.What the Coronavirus can teach us about the colleague experience.1) Distance. Do we need to be in the office?The modern office is a product of the Industrial Revolution, and doesn't reflect the changing nature of work and “the declining cost of distance”. Do we need to be in the office?2) Decompression. The emergency brakes have just been slammed on our just-in-time 21st century lives, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. How slowing down and allowing ourselves time to think will improve our quality of life and produce better work.3) Dispensing with the digital distinction. In the modern workplace there shouldn't be a distinction between colleague experience (physical) and colleague experience (digital). They just need the right tools to do their jobs. Why the lockdown is the ultimate acid test for how future proof your business is.A persuasive tale about good colleague experience.A much-loved heritage cheese brand creates a best in class colleague experience that sees them through the greatest crisis of their 450 years of history.
8 minutes | Apr 7, 2020
How Covid 19 got its name
Did you know there is such a thing as disease branding? Well there is, and it plays a hugely important role in how we respond to outbreaks and pandemics.This episode:Why diseases need branding - and rebranding.A short but sordid history of 19th century 'freak shows'Stigmatising names we still use todayGay Related Immunodeficiency (GRID) - a masterclass in the worst possible brand you can give a diseaseThe pharma business and 'disease awareness' campaigns.Why they existPros and consThe tricky business of naming a disease that's new to science.Naming the pathogens vs naming the diseaseThe World Health Organisation's new guidance on what you can and can't call a diseaseNovel diseases and how often they occurHow Coronavirus got its name.SARS-CoV-2COVID 19CoronavirusWhat happens to a brand when it shares a name with a disease.Corona beer versus CoronavirusCan panic-buyers tell the difference?
11 minutes | Apr 7, 2020
How to do brand experience in a crisis
How we experience brands has undergone radical change during the Coronavirus crisis. What have we learned about surviving these turbulent times?In this episode:Why the distinction between your physical and digital brand is dead.The three key questions that dictate how heavily a brand is being impacted by the Coronavirus crisis.Why the crisis is a hugely valuable learning experience from a brand experience point of view.Why your brand can't afford to shut down marketing activity during the crisis.The scientific consensus against reducing investment in marketing.Marketing effectiveness guru Peter Field's 4 key lessons about the benefits of continuing to invest in marketing during an economic downturn: 1) Cutting marketing budget in a downturn only helps defend profits in the very short term; 2) If you do choose to cut budgets, your brand will emerge from the downturn in a weaker and much less profitable position; 3) During a downturn, you should aim to maintain your share of voice, at or above your share of market during a downturn. Evidence shows that this delivers a longer-term improvement in profitability that outweighs any benefit gained from short-term reduction of investment; 4) If your competitors are cutting budgets during a crisis, the benefit of maintaining your investment in marketing expenditure will be even greater. In short, if your competitors go quiet, it’s easier to make yourself heard.Why you need to make use of your entire marketing mix - the '4Ps' - Product, Price, Promotion and Place. Why Promotion (Communications) may not be the right play.The power of Product, Price and Place, with examples.The 5th P - 'People' - and how it can make or break your brand.Doing the right thing by your people.We're all in this together and brands need to act like it.
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