SINGAPORE: User experience is playing an increasingly important role in brand differentiation for Asia’s marketers, with branded utility a particular point of focus, according to an analysis of more than 180 campaigns from across the region.

WARC's recently released Asian Strategy Report shows that many brands in Asia are putting innovation at the heart of their marketing strategies. Brand utility is one trend that is taking off with the region’s marketers, with traditionally low-interest categories in particular looking outside the box to create impact.

Read more about how Asian brands are rethinking the role of utility here: Asian Strategy Report 2017-2018

Rohan Lightfoot, Global Client Partner and APAC Managing Director at Isobar, and a judge for this year’s WARC Prize for Asian Strategy, believes marketers need to ask themselves one question when it comes to innovation: it is useful?

“Modern marketers live in a world awash with innovation, almost all of which fails. Tens of thousands of new products, new platforms and even new business models die every year, because they lack utility. They die because they don’t solve a real problem based on a real need,” Lightfoot said.

“Utility and experience design go hand in hand, because you can’t design great experiences unless you know what your audience needs. This points towards a very simple test for a nascent idea: is it useful?” he asserted.

Lightfoot cited a campaign by Tata Motors, where the trucking company launched a condom brand to protect its driver’s from sexually transmitted diseases, as one effective example of brand utility.

“At least 300,000 Indian truck drivers have a sexually transmitted disease… Through this branded utility, Tata Motors is helping to keep its customers alive and behind the wheel,” he said, noting the savvy use of trucks as advertising channels themselves.

“The reason that the Tata case was so smart… is utility. (They) created something that people would actually find useful.”

Sourced from WARC