KIMBA hearts Red Bull. They are the Branded Content North Star. They've raised the bar of possibility by offering a whole new set of aspirations for brands trying to compete in the "digital ecosystem." We've used their work as examples and case studies in many a deck. But Red Bull was not an overnight success. From the start, Red Bull knew they wanted to and needed to be content creators, and carve out a presence in all the lifestyle arenas in which their product is used. To make their goals real, they invested astronomical budgets in personnel, content partnerships, technology, analytics, systems, and production.
When it comes to branded content, however, sometimes it's gotta be 'go big, or go home.' Meaning, Branded Content isn't a quick fix. Like Red Bull has shown us, it is an investment. It's probably half the investment most Fortune 500 companies make in production & media costs towards Outdoor, Broadcast, and Print Advertisement, but it's still a significant chunk of money and time and it requires patience. Just because Dollar Shave Club's Mike Dubin (who had a history in improv comedy performing with the best and brightest) produced a sharply comedic piece of video content for $4k doesn't mean that's what your organization is capable of accomplishing.
KIMBA suggests a shift in focus for Marketing Departments, who, as we've established, were hit first and hardest with the need for Digital Transformation.
The shift: Let's go from Branded focus to Behavioral focus.
KIMBA works with clients on something we call Consumer Experience Mapping (CXM). Think of this as the modern day, agile purchase funnel, that is more an ecosystem ('always on') than a traditional linear purchase path. Thinking through these maps and defining each possible phase of the consumer experience, shows us what type of information and content we need to provide in order to help our consumers make the next best decisions.
This refocus is necessary for 2 key reasons:
1. Purchase influence has shifted from brand to convenience, entertainment, consumer ratings & reviews, and price.
2. Your organization is likely not built to support a true investment (time or budget) in Branded Content. And that's okay.
For the time being, you can continue to task your social media agencies with cool memes and gifs, but realize that a deep analysis of consumer needs, followed by a plan of action to address them, is the only futureproof endeavor upon which you can embark as a department.