Isobar’s Simon Gill discusses Experience-Led transformation at Red Apple Advertising Festival


Isobar’s Simon Gill discusses Experience-Led transformation at Red Apple Advertising Festival

On Thursday 15th November, Isobar EMEA Chief Experience Officer Simon Gill shared how experience-led transformation is the future of business at the 28th edition of the Red Apple International Advertising Festival in Moscow.

Opening the session, Simon explained how the brand commerce era reflects the way consumers interact and transact with brands today. The gap between brand communication and retail experience was once vast, but advancements in technology and changes in customer behaviour mean smart digital solutions have brought them much closer.

Simon shared how Isobar enables brand commerce for clients, “At Isobar, we always put the consumer at the centre. We bring points of inspiration and points of transaction closer together, from shoppable content, connected stores and fast delivery. We ensure every touchpoint enables both a engaging brand story and an opportunity to transact.

The experience economy today demands that brands across all verticals need to keep up with – and strive to be ahead of – consumer demands. As consumers become ever-more connected, they expect the companies they engage with to meet those demands, or they’ll go elsewhere in exchange for a better customer experience.

A recent Salesforce study revealed that 76% of customers felt that it’s easier than ever to switch from brand to brand to find an experience that matches their expectations, and 72% expect brands to personalise engagement to meet their needs. It’s therefore, paramount for brands to offer a connected, unified and personalised experience at every touch point.

Simon went on to share KFC’s business transformation story in China, where the number of millennials is as large as the population of the world’s fifth largest country. Working on the insights that eating is a trendy social experience and technology has significantly changed millennials’ lifestyle, the Isobar team set out to transform KFC China’s brand, culture and ecosystem.

Simon explained that, “The brand was transformed through the creative use of digital. In-store experiences were overhauled; including augmented reality experiences, an AI-enabled in-store robot powered by Baidu, intuitive digital payments, and an intelligent voice ordering and AI delivery system. In 2017, KFC also tapped into the massive millennial gaming market in China, partnering with strategy game Onmyoji to create special episodes that were only accessible in KFC restaurants, with in-game prizes available to those who invited other friends to play.

Following the KFC China transformation story, Simon shared how Isobar helped Diageo transform the in-home cocktail making experience with The Bar, a voice-enabled service delivered on the Amazon Echo Show. And how the agency helped UNIQLO customers in Australia overcome choice paralysis with UMOOD, an innovative in-store experience using neuroscience.

Building on how neuroscience is revolutionising how we create content, in particular XR (the umbrella term that includes Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR), Simon continued, “As consumer behaviours mature, there is increasing neural research that demonstrates how XR lights up our brains in ways other communications channels don’t. The increased brain activity of XR is important for brands and marketeers, as recent studies empathetically show that successful advertising needs to elicit a powerful emotional response.

To show how immersive content engages consumers on a new level, Simon shared Isobar’s first-of-its-kind Digital Craft Grand Prix Cannes Lions-winning work Aeronaut VR, where users were transported into Billy Corgan’s world, made possible by Viacom, Unity, Microsoft and Google. Closing the 45 minute session, Simon summarised, “Experience-led transformation is about putting the human at the center of the brand and creating the experiences for consumers to make their lives better in some way—simpler, easier, and more convenient.


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