Brand as a Platform
This morning we’re all waking up to a Race to a Trillion dollars. That’s right with a Trillion with a T. Crazy. Apple’s market value just hit $950billion after a strong quarter and is driven by their service business. We’re seeing Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet (Google) in the race too and giving it their all. What an exciting moment in business!
But as this race heats up, my inquisitive mind starts wondering what sets these companies apart from all the others in the world. What do they have in common that other companies can learn from and potentially replicate? I know some of the skeptics will say that they’re tech companies and there’s not much a CPG or Fashion company can learn from their business models. But I beg to differ.
The commonality across these four companies is that they have built their brands as platforms, not just products or services alone. They know this new, connected, curious and ever-changing world needs consistency, yet dynamism. They understand the value of lifetime consumers. They are playing an Impossible Game that will continue forever. Simply put, they approach their business, brands and consumers completely differently than other organizations.
We’ve whittled down the commonalities to three features of a Brand as a Platform company.
The consumer is at the center of every experience and business decision. All platforms are built to fulfill the brand promise. They look at the journey from the consumer’s eyes and make it simple and engaging to interact with their companies. They don’t force the consumer to jump through hoops just because the organization isn’t set up correctly.
Enabled by tech
Technology enables their brand experience. It’s consistent, connected & ongoing. Tech is the means, not the end. They believe and invest in the power of technology and data. Not only does this increase their relationships with their consumers, but it also streamlines business workflows and processes to make the core offering more efficient and simple.
The consumer lifecycle & lifetime value is the driving metric. Not Acquisition. Consumer value is in the relationship. Rarely do you see mass advertising from brand as a platform companies, Because they’re too focused on building their current relationships. They know the repeat purchase and engagement value over time is much more efficient than buying new customers with advertising and incentives only to lose those customers when a better ad and incentive comes out.
As we see the first company in history crack the $1 Trillion market value mark, we need to take the time to look at how they got here. It’s not just magic, but a radical embrace on the market, the consumer and their core offering, experience.
How do you see the idea of platforms playing a role for your brand? Leave a comment below or drop us a line.
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