LONDON: Technology has disrupted many industries by addressing consumer pain points and making their lives easier, but, an industry figure has argued, “frictionless” brands become less intrusive and less front of mind.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, Ben Felton, planning director at Leo Burnett, says it is more important than ever to have a compelling brand and communication strategy that creates and reinforces associations.

“Brands need to be front of mind so a consumer asks for them by name,” he maintains in Four rules for achieving brand success in the digital age – something that will be essential when voice technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa become commonplace for ordering products.

He further notes that brands have focused on creating frictionless experiences that encourage people to keep using the brand in the future.

“In our obsession to make people’s lives easier and apply technology and intelligence to the task, let’s not forget that we can apply the same technology and intelligence to helping people get the most out of the brands they have purchased,” Felton says.

“And it is perhaps the friction, rather than the frictionless, which will be the most potent reminder of the brand in that moment when someone comes to order their next product.”

A sportswear brand might put sensors in shoes that tell the wearer when the soles are worn and they should order a new pair, “but, if you truly want your brand to be front of mind, how about creating a fully intrusive service like Nike Training Club, an app that brings friction to a new level as it barks drills at you and you gasp and sweat,” he suggests.

But not all brands will have such options open to them, and for them a rapid resolution of problems via customer service can be a way linking friction and the brand experience in a positive way.

“Think frictionless and apply it to resolving customer pain points and you may well find that you are once again front of mind when your customers come to renew their products or services, regardless of what Alexa recommends or Google suggests,” Felton says.

Sourced from Admap