Thursday, 14 December 2017

Brand Strategy: Whoever Has The Best Data Wins.

We've all heard by now that companies are using artificial intelligence to streamline the way they do business, but an influx of more intimately personal data has opened doors to even greater brand benefits.

This year, a number of companies made use of impossibly detailed personal information. Not just age, name or location, but details gathered from saliva samples and body tracking sensors.

Biometric information, for example, like your genomic profile, has become more easily accessible.  This due to the increased efficiency and falling costs of the technology involved in obtaining it. This has given brands in various categories, from luxury fashion to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG,) the opportunity to use biometric information to both add value to their product and strengthen their marketing messages.

Today’s savvy consumers only consider brands that demonstrate that they understand and care about “me”.’ And what better way to do that than build bespoke products and campaigns for each customer?

In September, Nike launched its Advanced Apparel Exploration 1.0 capsule collection, a line of clothing based on the personal data of several athletes. The sportswear brand used sensors to track how the athletes’ bodies reacted to different environments, measuring heat, sweat and airflow in various urban settings – from the subway to the office to a club – and converted the data into body maps.

The entire collection was formed around these data insights – so every item was constructed to provide extra ventilation or coverage in the areas it was needed. Using biometric data, the brand aims to design clothing with extra value for the wearer.

Other companies have taken it a step further, personalising their products to each customer’s genetic makeup. Fitness platform Lose It! partnered with startup Helix to use genomic information to create diet plans tailored to people’s genetic profiles. And wine delivery platform Vinome followed a similar system to offer personalised wine selections.

As well as using personal data to aid product development, companies are also using genetic testing to ramp up their marketing. These campaigns and product developments could not have happened without significant technological advances. And as startups continue to innovate, even more meaningful data will become available.

New York’s Loomia, for example, is developing technology that will allow people to track the way they wear their clothes and sell that data to brands. To this end, Loomia has created a smart clothing ecosystem that can track when clothes are being worn, what setting they’re being worn in and what other clothes they’re being paired with.

Loomia’s smart fabrics collect and store environmental data specific to individual pieces of clothing, like what temperature it was outside when someone wore it. When it comes to market, people will be able to trade this data with brands for rewards – giving apparel brands a unique opportunity to track how their products are used. As startups like Loomia continue to develop new forms of data, brands will be able to strengthen their creative offering with insights that were unheard of until now.

Though these are early examples, they point to a future where companies infuse their offerings with intricate data gathered from both products and customers. For brands and marketers, customer data is like oxygen — nobody survives very long without it. Used intelligently, this data will help shape campaigns, inspire new products, build loyalty, and drive business strategy.

Welcome to the future.