Take a tip from these 5 brands that gave us something to learn or build on in 2020
In our fast-paced and often-volatile economy, it’s not enough for companies to maintain the status quo when it comes to driving brand presence. Consumers are smarter and savvier and traditional billboards and tv spots just won’t cut it anymore, especially in the clutter of so many brands, and so much advertising. So what does it take to come out on top? Today, success is about unveiling new innovation in the brand and design space to develop clever and creative ways for consumers not only to see the brand, but to experience the brand. Here are 5 companies that I believe effectively pulled off new innovations in their brand in the past year.
1. MasterCard –
In January of 2019, MasterCard rebranded with a refreshed logo that walked away from using its brand name. A month later, they unveiled a new part of their identity—sound. Sonic branding is another way for consumers to recognize a brand beyond a logo. Other brands such as IBM and T-Mobile have done this in the past using sonic branding as a tag at the end of a commercial but MasterCard has creatively brought it into another space. When making purchases with a MasterCard, the sonic branding is played through the card reader effectively helping their customers experience the brand in an auditory way.
2. Dominos –
In the early 2000’s, this fast-food pizza chain hit an all-time low with declining sales and stocks but has since re-emerged with clever and faster ways to get their pizza to consumers. With inventive service offerings like the Pizza Tracker and experimentation of self-driving delivery vehicles, Dominos came back and was a force to be reckon with. In 2019, they continued to break the mold with its Hotspots program. The company realized that sometimes traditional addresses weren’t enough to effectively pinpoint a consumer’s location. In public spaces like parks and beaches, more exact coordinates are needed for delivery. Enter Hotspots. Dominos launched the program with 150,000 different hot spots that customers can tap into for delivery, creating an experience that made it easier for people to have their pizza virtually anywhere.
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3. Aptiv –
This company is less known for their brand but rather the products they deliver. Aptiv is a global automotive parts technology company that gained attention and accolades with their autonomous driving technology. These self-driving cars made a big impact in 2019 with its use of artificial intelligence as the main force behind the technology. Brands such as Hyundai and Kia have partnered with Aptiv to create safer and more trsuted driverless experiences.
4. IKEA place app –
Augmented reality isn’t a new innovation but as time goes by, the technology continues to improve. A great example of this is the relaunch of the IKEA place app in 2019. It allows smartphone users to place any piece of furniture from the IKEA catalog into any space in their house. It’s 98% more accurate in scale than its predecessor and adjust lighting and shadows to better integrate with the environment. This created a new way for people to experience IKEA without having to go to its brick and mortar maze.
5. Grab –
I was recently in the Philippines on vacation with my family and wanted to use my Uber app to get from one part of Manila to another. To my surprise, Uber wasn’t available in the region anymore. Instead, I was told by locals to download the grab app. In shock, I wanted to find out more on how Grab ousted the one of the most successful ride-hailing apps to date. What I found was that Grab is so much more than a ride-hailing app. In 2019 it expanded its offerings to food delivery, travel booking and financial offerings to name a few. It’s basically your digital personal assistant. In a time when we have multiple apps to do different things, consolidating tasks that we do daily into one app is a no-brainer and Grab has tapped into that.
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It’s a new year and a new decade. As Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” We’re well into 2020 and I’m looking forward to seeing how brands are going to continue to innovate and lead their industry or define new ones. What are you going to do?
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