#8 Brand Hacking

Intangible assets is what financiers refer to when they try to assess the monetary value of your intellectual properties, your brand, your human capital, and every other operating cost that you have invested in when trying to achieve competitiveness.They affect effectiveness, productivity, revenues, customer satisfaction, and eventually, share price. As digital technologies advance, a very interesting crossroad is emerging: the confluence of software development and marketing.

Barclays bank did this superbly with their waterslide campaign. The TV ad featured a man’s ultimate journey from home to work – on a waterslide. Inviting customers to repeat the experience, Barclays commissioned a mobile game in which the player would glide his way through 3D city landscapes and negotiate huge twists and turns, racing against the clock. Within a week, the game app was downloaded over 2 million times, which approximately delivered about 16 million minutes of customer engagement, becoming the number one free app in fifty-seven countries.

Creating these assets turns your marketing costs into capital expenditure because the assets created look a lot more than products than marketing disposables. Moreover, if you create applications, your R+D costs can now be offset against taxes. All of this continues to be outsourced to agencies but I can foresee how a big player in the consumer goods may want to build a digital department and produce this in-house in the near future as marketing products. Mobile and tablet applications are most definitely bound to become such assets.

To fully embrace this new world of endless digital possibilities, you must bury the online/offline jargon and realize that the line that divided a company’s brand creative marketing processes from its product marketing development is now thinner than ever. As challenging as this may sound, you and your team should turn your campaign genius into digital products because in as much as digital products are built to deliver a function, their entertainment value is ever-present and here is where you have a wealth of experience.

If you let software developers and digital product creators ‘hack’ or ‘tinker’ with your brand together with your marketeers, what you will come up with is a new way to extend your brand values and turn your brand into digital products whose mission is to not only interact with your customers, but to service them in other verticals (a mobile game would be ‘entertainment’), a tablet application with product information, recipes, or further unveiling of what makes your products so unique and differentiated would be ‘infotainment’. The possibilities are endless.

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