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May 17, 2021

Edward Kim and Dan Saltzman of Ogilvy: Orchestrating Brand Across the Full Spectrum of Commerce

Written by: Lavender Nguyen
“The number of touchpoints and the number of bounce backs between online and offline are just going to continue to become greater and greater ... That’s why brands have to show up in a completely consistent, integrated, and authentic way across the full spectrum.”                             — Dan Saltzman, Vice President, Design and User Experience at Ogilvy

Consumers are willing to pay more for a better experience, and they want to connect with brands at a more personal level. But over 90% of today’s consumers avoid physical stores, buying exclusively online or as much as possible online, according to Bloomreach

Shoppers prefer online channels for researching, buying, and finding inspiration. They want to purchase items that reflect their personalities, beliefs, and lifestyle. 

In a recent episode on the Unpacking Digital Shelf podcast entitled “Orchestrating Brand Across the Full Spectrum of Commerce,” Edward Kim, managing partner of the commerce practice and Dan Saltzman, vice president, design and user experience at Ogilvy, discussed changes in every stage of the consumer commerce journey and branding in the digital age.

Because it’s hard to predict where consumers are, what stage they're at, and when they're exposed to a digital experience, Kim says there’s both an opportunity and a need to orchestrate brand across the full spectrum of commerce.

Here are some key takeaways from the podcast.

The Role of Brand in the Digital Age

According to Kim, in the digital age, “brand is the differentiator” because it helps a company stand out among competitors.

Kim says a strong brand message isn’t enough anymore. It’s also about orchestrating that brand voice throughout the entire spectrum of commerce. You need to turn it into something meaningful and engaging for your customers.

Kim explains that in digital commerce, you never know where your customers will interact. That’s why you need to show up and make yourself accessible to them.

Understanding the Spectrum of Commerce

The spectrum of commerce is everything from targeting, to acquisition, to points of conversions, to customer service, to retention. This spectrum isn’t linear — each of these stages connects with each other, but they’re also independent on their own in terms of strategies and messages.

Saltzman says targeting and acquisition are “sort of inextricably linked.” You need to understand your target audience, determine which channels you’ll meet them in, and perform tactics to get them. 

“There's no sort of like tools or window dressing to hide what you're doing here and how you're performing … There's no website experience. There's no anything else. This is about pure brand strategy. And that's where brands can really stand out in these first two phases.”                     — Dan Saltzman, Vice President, Design and User Experience at Ogilvy

Know Who Your Customers Are

Take KFC as an example. The brand understands how to create a first impression in the entire customer journey. Last year, they launched a whole slew of Instagram ads, which allowed customers to make orders directly from those ads without going to another page or switching interfaces.

According to Saltzman, what made this campaign successful is that KFC knows who their customers are. “They knew the audience that they were targeting was going to convert at an incredibly high rate to make impulse orders, through this expression of the brand,” he adds.

Regarding points of conversion, brand websites aren't the only place in the game. Saltzman says there are also marketplaces, online retail, and social commerce. That’s why brands need to make sure their message is consistent from offline to digital and across the digital conversion landscape.

The Importance of Consistent Customer Experiences

Kim adds that you should consider conversion points as “a part of the experience.” Think about how you show up at a particular experience, market your products, and serve your communities. Explore your customers and come up with ideas to engage with them creatively.

Service is another touchpoint along the spectrum of commerce. You need to understand how you can express your brand in product fulfillment, delivery, and customer service. Again, it’s important to show up consistently and create experiences for your customers.

The last pillar is retention. Traditionally, companies think of retention as a KPI and run loyalty programs to achieve it. But Kim says a better way to look at retention is the usage, i.e., how your consumers are using your products and how you can reward them for that. For example, if your customers use your product to create a healthy life and share healthy habits, give them a reward.

Embrace and get consumers into what your brand is doing. Once you’re done, you create a sense of community, which will drive your retention and growth.

What Brands Should Do Now

To succeed in the digital age, you should think about brand experience and digital experience as a whole funnel. That means all parts of your organization, including branding team, digital execution team, supply chain, and even product development, need to participate in the change process.

Kim says that brands should take advantage of what they’ve already established from an infrastructure globalization perspective and assemble disparate teams to bring capabilities together. You don’t need to make massive overhauls and changes but rather organize the right talent with the right thinking.

Also, think about your consumers, brainstorm ideas, and test, test, test. “That’s where we’ve seen a lot of these things kind of happen and a lot of fun … Maybe the team that was only 75 days old will have some impact on the rest of the organization that is 75 plus years old,” Kim says.

The Beginning of Real Integrated Digital Commerce

Saltzman says that moving forward, digital commerce is a critical part of an entire commerce strategy. “The number of touchpoints and the number of bounce backs between online and offline are just going to continue to become greater and greater,” he emphasizes.

“That’s why brands have to show up in a completely consistent, integrated, and authentic way across the full spectrum," says Saltzman.

Listen to the full podcast episode to learn more about the spectrum of commerce and how brand can be infused into every stage of the consumer commerce journey.

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