Day 2 Afternoon Sessions: Concurrent Panel Discussions #4 - #6
First, the panel shared common issues which technologies and empowered consumers created. Katahira pointed out consumers freely communicate on brands, and Prof. Wind noted consumers will define brands in the age of social media. Roel de Vries discussed diversified customer touch points driven by digitization and reality is that those touch points are continuously changing and all the concerned parties in one company communicate their brand. Katahira also pointed that consumers strip brands naked and unless a brand is consistent to all people, it would fail.
Then, moved on to the topic on how we should approach to those empowered and networked consumers. Harrop insisted that we should be creative enough to offer what consumers are interested in and feel fun. That is, however, not sufficient. We should also be honest and find truth in consumers, brands, and products. Katahira talked about the importance of brand truth, not techniques nor media tactics. He emphasized that advertising is a sort of human art by illustrating the Kumon's brand campaign and showed its TV CM in 2002 highlighting the scene of children's aha moment.
Sugiyama raised another issue that Shiseido experienced declining market share regardless of strong brand equity. Then, Shiseido re-defined core value of the brand by putting lasting value on beauty which will enrich people's minds in all countries. Prof. Wind noted that brands are in consumers' minds and hearts and technology and innovation allow consumers to have more information on brands; thereby, he believes emotional advertising would be more effective.
Lastly the panel discussed the issues of organizations in terms of brand communication as it is quite challenging to integrate consistent messages cross functionally and win the hearts and minds of consumers by appealing brand truth. De Vries raised the issue that organizational silos are the biggest risk in that perspective. Prof. Wind proposed the concept of a network orchestrater who connect all the parties both inside and outside a company like a conductor of symphony orchestra or jazz ensemble. He concluded the session by emphasizing the importance of testing to acquire new skills with challenging own mental models and experimenting new approaches as now consumers are continuously changing and both transitional media and digital should be well mixed.