Consumers are looking towards brands to lead cultural conversations and, as more brands seeks to launch campaigns with a strong point of view, planners need to adapt their perspective accordingly, a leading practitioner has said.

As the world swirls around new cultures, new issues and new media forms to carry conversations, the modern planner needs to think first like a citizen and only then like a consumer, according to Kate Smither, Chief Strategy Integration Officer at Publicis Australia.

“It’s the difference between understanding how your brand lives in the world and what your product can and does do,” Smither writes in an exclusive piece for WARC (For more, read the full article: Planning with a point of view: from Nike to Burger King).

“That means bringing the wider view of the world to planning and embracing the fact that as a human being, you are now looking to brands to carry conversations and lead on issues which governments and legislatures are not,” she contends.

“People are turning to brands that can express a point of view,” Smither argues. “They want leaders they want to follow and, increasingly, these leaders are brands. Brands are not just something we buy anymore, they are something we buy into,” she says.

Sportswear giant Nike and fast-food brand Burger King are two brands which have a clear point of view and an understanding of the role their brand plays in the world.

“Burger King’s ability to move beyond ‘product’ and towards a point of view importantly started with a true understanding of the brand DNA,” Smither explains. “Basic enough to adapt, simple enough not to polarise, quick and easy enough to meet life’s needs: the democratic nature of the product at the brand’s core allows the brand to take a point of view.”

Nike, meanwhile, shows how building the brand and business around a core human truth has allowed them to evolve into taking a stand, Smither says.

“The brand assumed universality through its positioning and its Just Do It platform early on. Over the years it has been able to build layers of meaning into the platform without throwing it away.

“In a short-termist industry, where positionings often change with CMOs, this consistent belief and commitment to the long haul is to be applauded,” she states.

Sourced from WARC