From the big global players to the emerging online brands, everyone wants in on the DIY phenomenon. But it’s the brands that go beyond product customisation to embrace the creativity of the world around them in the most relevant ways that will win.
1. Drive culture
Last year our global Cultural Traction study showed that Apple was struggling to keep up with the cultural conversation and losing its vibrancy. But if it’s recent acquisition of Beats by Dr Dre and its latest TV campaign ‘Stickers’ are anything to go by, Apple is reconnecting with the world around its brand. The ad features the MacBook Air customised with various clever pop-culture references from Breaking Bad to Snow White and everyone’s favourite cartoon dad, Homer Simpson. Getting creative with the customisation trend, Apple’s logo interacts with the fast moving artwork, placing the brand firmly in the centre of a constantly shifting culture.
2. Create engaging experiences
It’s not just the fast moving tech brands that are successfully leveraging DIY to offer better brand experiences. In the US, McDonald’s have started to offer a ‘build your own burger’ service where customers can craft their own burger contents using a tablet at the order point. Similarly, Starbucks is launching a customisation option for its cold beverages after successful trials in the US, Japan and Singapore. These brands understand that people want to play a creative role in the story of their brands and so they offer creative and sensory experiences beyond the moment of consumption.
3. Connect with the creators
One step further than inviting people to participate in creative brand experiences is to enable the creators who are already out there making. Rising e-commerce site Etsy calls itself “the most beautiful marketplace in the world”, not only giving us a place to buy and sell unique creations for the home and wardrobe but also allowing creative people all over the world to connect with and inspire each other.
4. Offer a helping hand
5. Think about the bigger picture
Brands that go beyond participating in the DIY trend to actually shaping it understand that they need to be relevant to multiple areas of people’s lives. Global sportswear brand Adidas has taken trainer customisation one step further than its rival Nike with plans to launch an app that allows customers to print their personal Instagram photos directly on to the ZX Flux trainer. Beyond customised colour, fabric and features, Adidas is bridging the gap between the world of digital and real life, inviting people to be artists in their own right and materialise their favourite memories. The app is creative and allows individual expression, but most importantly is useful and relevant.
Katie Webbe (@KatieWebb) works in group marketing at global consultancy, Added Value Group.
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