Exposure are an independent communications agency, formed in 1993. Exposure work with a variety of fashion & lifestyle and blue chip brands to create campaigns and content that provide creative solutions to business challenges. Here, we put some questions on brands to James Burgon, Exposure’s CFO…
How has social media affected branding?
Social media has had a huge impact on branding. Historically, brands produced branding which communicated to consumers. In the social media world, branded communication must be designed to encourage the user to share communication with other consumers. Consumers don’t share advertising, but they share stories and details. For example: a consumer who buys jeans will never share the fact that they bought the jeans because they saw a model wearing them in an advert, they will refer to fit, cut, denim quality, stretch, and product details so the social media communication message needs to be completely different to encourage the consumer to share.
What challenges do you see for brand owners in the future?
The biggest challenge for most brand owners is the speed that information can be distributed via the internet, the consumption of messaging on multiple platforms simultaneously and the growth in e-commerce and m-commerce via multiple devices. Brand owners of the future need to have real honesty and complete integrity. Ethical sourcing, sustainability, product truths, personal service, grace and politeness are distinguishing factors required by consumers. Many sectors have ubiquitous products so the way those products are delivered to the customer is vital. For example, no one talks about how great a particular bank product is because such products are all very similar, but poor customer service by a bank will be shared via media channels with millions of people in seconds. The consumer may be reading negative social media at the same time as watching a slick TV commercial for the same brand.
Which brands do you admire and why?
Coke - because they share happiness.
Levi’s - because I always wear them and whenever I try other jeans, then just don’t feel right.
John Smedley - John Smedley are made in the heart of Derbyshire and I have been a huge fan since I was 16 years old. Their sea island cotton and merino wool polo shirts and pullovers are timeless and a perfect example of a fantastic British Brand. When worn they never fail to generate positive comments, they are worth every penny and to top it all, they are machine washable!
Heineken - Heineken constantly innovates. I loved the metal barrel tins that they introduced into the market a number of years ago and recently I read that they have launched an amazing beer dispenser for the take home market in Europe. It’s called “The Sub”. It hasn’t launched in the UK yet but watch this space!
What have been the highlights for Exposure in the last 12 months?
Minnie Mouse Love Magazine collaboration - it was an amazing campaign which made Minnie Mouse a front cover fashion muse.
Bacardi Martini 150th Anniversary - it was the best event Exposure have ever produced.
Reinventing training at EE, which received incredible feedback from the attendees.
How does IP affect what you do?
IP is becoming more important in agency communication as brands collaborate with each other, with music stars, with celebrities etc. Global worldwide rights in perpetuity are difficult and expensive to acquire in a multiplatform world.
How do you see the role of branding elements such as smells, sounds and colours developing? Sounds which can be picked up by smart phones but not necessarily the human ear is an area that will grow: for example sounds that can launch apps for brands.
This article is part of the BrandWrites Newsletter for November 2013