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Mobility emerging as a pervasive platform; consumers want newer experiences: WPP and Ogilvy

The Future of Brands in Motion report talks about how global companies are looking at adopting mobility to be future-ready

Business leaders are looking at ways of using mobility to accelerate profitable expansion and consumers are looking forward to newer experiences, says the Future of Brands in Motion report released by WPP and Ogilvy Consulting.

“Now more than ever, brands need to future-proof themselves to stay at the forefront of change inside and outside their categories. The pandemic has only accelerated consumer expectations in technology and innovation, and offering unparalleled convenience at speed has become an essential part of people’s lives. Companies that embrace mobility as a platform can fuel profitable expansions and create dynamic, future-forward strategies for growth,” says Kyla Jacobs, EVP, Marketing and Growth, WPP.

The report is based on interviews conducted with top business leaders to explore how brands from entertainment, retail, telecom, and transportation are looking at mobility. According to findings of the report, businesses are surviving week to week, making quick adjustments to stifle revenue loss. For a few businesses, innovation and experimentation have been put on hold in order to minimise expenses and for others, they are a key path forward.

“Balancing the new demands from consumers and regulators with the long-term viability of current business models is a major challenge,” it said.

The report said consumers are focusing on cleanliness and convenience. Mobility will change how people and goods move around the world and companies will harness technology and partnerships to transform the movement of people, goods, and services.

“As everything accelerates, growth can be either elusive or overwhelming for any business, in almost every sector. With mobility as a platform, any company can take advantage of mobility as a strategy for growth. Companies that invest in new kinds of mobility experiences will see growth in not just customer retention and revenue, but also brand relevancy, as we expect that those who get it right will earn customers for life,” said Susan Machtiger, Executive Partner, Brand, and Marketing Strategy, Ogilvy Consulting.

The consumers are looking forward to experimenting with newer activities and experiments. 67% of the consumers believe their expectations will come to life in the next two years.

Mobility is also shattering category and competition boundaries for brands. “As companies push category boundaries, they often struggle to define what kind of company they are. And that’s okay, as long as they know why they exist. Companies with a strong sense of purpose earn the right to evolve and defy convention in a way that’s authentic to their core. And bold, visionary, passionate leaders are able to bring all key stakeholders along,” said Brooke Hovey, Chief Growth Officer, BCW.

Product attributes such as cleanliness, safety, and privacy are being given importance. The study suggests that the urban population looks at attributes such as safety (55%), recommended (10%), company values (12%), empathy during pandemic (22%), exclusivity (7%), immediacy (7%).

Meanwhile, the rural population looks at convenience (28%), cleanliness (47%), comfort (24%) and privacy of data (21%).

Brands have been quick to adopt technology. Mobility and contactless experiences are the future, it said.

The need for innovation is also bringing out-of-category partnerships between traditional and newer mobility companies in the market. “Mobility partnerships have the potential to highlight shared values across brands, heighten the ‘mobility experience’ in unforeseen ways, and put bold companies in the position to grow the value of products and services,” said Latha Sundaram, Group Business Leader, Executive Director, Mediacom.

The report also says 72% consumers are interested in brand partnerships. However, they are looking at local businesses coming out on top, supported by larger players that put community needs first.

The consumer’s expectations have changed for all the four major sectors. They will expect evolved experiences in both physical retail and mobile commerce. In the entertainment space, the consumer is looking for sharing the experience rather than live events. Hence it is important for players to replicate emotional and social sensations in live events.

Transportation players will see their roles elevating and broadening from getting consumers and goods from point A to point B, to creating meaningful experiences in every in-between moment.

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