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Modern Brand Infrastructure
August 2015
An operating model for modern brands.
How can a modern brand think about and organize to accomplish all of its necessary operations? What are the
different channels, disciplines and programs required to bring a brand to life entirely through its actions?
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Thomas Bruce (trbpix) on Flickr licensed under creative commons
How can actions speak louder than words when words
are still often required to scale actions?
The central issue: 

Even today, brands are
challenged by scale.
Zeus Jones All rights reservedImage via http://bristram.blogspot.com/
Generating a viral hit is as fraught with uncertainty and
risk as developing the next 1984 spot.
A viral/WOM model
simply replaces one
lottery for another.
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Facebook is now a mass reach medium, interaction is
minimal at best.
Scale via social is next to impossible to generate
without paid advertising.
Social networks are
rapidly devolving into
the networks of old
Zeus Jones All rights reservedImage via forbes.com
This is why paid media continues to proliferate and advertising remains the
business model of the majority of digital startups.
Free, mass communication has not
materialized as promised.
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Yet some of the most
successful brands play by a
different set of rules.
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Branding evolving from comms to experiences
It’s clear that branding has evolved. Messages are being replaced by interactions and campaigns are giving way to
comprehensive experiences.
Sound an alarm! Advertising,
not deals, builds brands.
ERIC RYAN
Building a brand is about a
thousand little new touches.
Consistency is only for liars.
HOWARD SCHULTZ
COMMUNICATIONS
Authentic brands don't emerge
from marketing cubicles or
advertising agencies. They emanate
from everything the company does.
INTERACTIONS EXPERIENCES
ONE-WAY TWO-WAY CONTINUOUS
DAVID OGILVY
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Some brands build around existing user behavior
For many, the starting point in “brand experience” is understanding a person’s existing behavior and then
attempting to fit into their life. However, this is still done primarily through content or fighting for attention
CONSUMER
Existing Behavior
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Great brands think about desired behavior
They understand what people would like to do, even when the people don’t know it themselves.
CONSUMER
Existing Behavior
Desired Behavior
Commoditized
Functional advantage
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
They deliver desired benefits in a differentiated way
Modern brands enable new behaviors and create rituals based upon delivering unique experiences. They don’t
simply fit into a person’s existing day, they enhance it in proprietary ways.
CONSUMER
Existing Behavior
Desired Behavior
Unique Rituals
Commoditized
Functional advantage
Highly differentiated
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Desired benefits delivered in differentiated ways
Brands like Starbucks, Uber and Warby Parker have created unique and highly branded rituals around enabling
new possibilities and behaviors for their customers
Created a coffee culture Defined a new lifestyle Eyewear becomes seasonal
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Imageviaslashgear.com
Imageviamilanocard.it
Imageviahttp://on-select.com/
Not simply better ideas, 

better infrastructure.
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Image via 1wallpaper.ne
Infrastructure is key to their unique delivery
Their delivery infrastructure is key to modern brands’ experience. None of these companies would be what they
are today if they delivered over the same infrastructure as their competition.
The third space Your private driver A personal dressing room
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Imageviamenemshasolutions.com
Imageviaconnexient.com
Imageviapingwest.com
Infrastructure owners are incentivized to standardize.
They are not trying to help you differentiate. They are
trying to sell standardized, repeatable blocks of time
and space.
Existing brand
infrastructure forces
standardization
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Image via Google
Modern brands are built on top of ideas, platforms and
ecosystems that let them communicate, interact,
service and sell without having to pay an intermediary.
This enables more growth, higher levels of efficiency,
and deeper, more permanent relationships with key
stakeholders.
Modern brands own
their infrastructure
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Image via wc-news.com
1. Aquire and convert new customers
2. Build markets and communicate with mass audiences
3. Engage with existing customers
Infrastructure lets brands fulfill key tasks directly
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
They control the experience they deliver
They control the way they drive revenue
This provides them with huge leverage if and when they deal with a 3rd party
channel or paid media
Ultimately owned infrastructure lets
brands control their destiny
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Elements of modern brand
infrastructure
1. Growth
2. Mass
3. Loyalty
Infrastructure built
upon three different
kinds of platforms
Growth
Platform
Mass
Platform
CORE
BELIEF &
PURPOSE
Loyalty
Platform
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Largely content and/or services ecosystems
Drive engagement with brand, additional usage/
consumption of product is desired result.
Loyalty Platforms
manage relationships
with current users.
Loyalty
Platform
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
• Self-sustaining
• Based on a value exchange for all parties
• Leverages external content creators for efficiency
• Assembles brand and partner assets into a cohesive “media” network
• Optimized for traffic/SEO and user experience
• Can contain both digital and physical assets
• Includes a workflow as well as a structural map
• Fed by other platforms
Ideal Properties of an Loyalty Platform
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
We have built a comprehensive loyalty platform for Post
It that engages multiple segments of users on an on-
going basis
It is fueled by a wide range of partners and delivers
useful content and services that drive usage and
additional purchase.
Content extends throughout the owned platforms into
partner and retailer platforms.
Example: Post It.
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Red Bull have turned content into a revenue stream that
rivals (if not beats) the revenue derived from their core
product.
It doesn’t simply participate in niche sports, it builds
and creates them, monetizing the content that is
created.
Networks like NBC, now pay Red Bull to advertise on
their channels.
Gold standard: 

Red Bull
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Image via battlegrounds.redbull.com
Operations as marketing and vice-versa
Drive revenue and operational enhancements while also
delivering marketing benefits
Growth platforms:
deliver marketing
benefits as an effect of
remarkable operationsGrowth
Ecosystem(s)
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
• Based upon an operational asset
• Built on an exchange of value
• Usage builds the strength of that asset
• An acquisition tool - often generates WOM
• Engages collaboration partners
• Acts as the primary growth engine for the company
• Delivers marketing benefits as a collateral benefit
Properties of a Growth Platform
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Mobile interface to existing service makes diagnostic
logic transparent and accessible
Has rapidly grown to encompass a significant portion of
overall visits
Created entirely new usage scenarios and a timely
acquisition channel
Example: virtuwell
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Exposes a key part of operations - fleet scheduling.
Drives operational efficiency as it offloads scheduling
onto drivers and customers.
Delivers marketing benefits through delight and ease of
use. Viral/talk value built into the core use case.
Drives penetration through mobility of customer base
Gold standard:
Uber app
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Image via bloomberg.com
And can deliver a multitude of different marketing benefits
Growth platforms can be built around
a host of different operational assets
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Operations Assets Marketing benefits
Awareness
Engagement
Advocacy
Consideration
Preference
Choice
Customer service
Efficiency
Competitive advantage
New functionality
R&D
HR
Sales
Logistics
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Almost exclusively a communications medium
Creates enough mass and interest for earned media to
drive a significant portion of scale.
Key task is creating demand to be fulfilled by other
platforms in the brand infrastructure
Mass Platforms
aggregate audiences
for reach
Mass
Ecosystem
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
• Aggregate advocates and mass media to drive huge scale
• Operate on the company’s calendar not a media calendar
• Work in pulses or bursts that are timed to big news
• Often have their own marketing program built around them
• Highly connected to other platforms
Properties of a Mass Platform
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Through our Better With Pets Summit, we have built a
platform that engages the industry, bloggers and press
to help share key Purina innovations and values.
Example: BWP
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Since pulling out of Macworld in 2008, Apple has tuned
its own events and announcements to a fine edge.
Teasers, releases, conventions, rituals and importantly,
huge amounts of PR, and earned media mean Apple
really doesn’t need to advertise. In fact it spends a
fraction on paid media compared to rivals like
Samsung.
Gold standard:
Apple Events
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
These platforms will vary in size and importance
depending upon the nature of the brand and its needs.
In some cases, brands may not need all three platforms
Different brands will
have different
infrastructure needs
Growth
Platform
Mass
Platform
CORE
BELIEF &
PURPOSE
Loyalty
Platform
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Infrastructure streamlines
modern marketing
complexity.
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Campaigns and “big ideas” still have a place, but they
operate primarily on the brand’s owned platforms rather
than requiring rented media space.
(Campaigns can also be used to build infrastructure
when it doesn’t exist.)
Campaigns still have
an important role
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Image via Nike
Interactions, experiences, messages and behaviors can
be assigned to one or more platforms. Importantly
platforms are also not asked to do things that they
simply can’t.
Promotions: Loyalty and Growth
New Products: Mass & Loyalty
Etc.
Segmented channels
simplify planning
Growth
Platform
Mass
Platform
Loyalty
Platform
CORE
BELIEF &
PURPOSE
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Infrastructure enables short
and long-term efficiency.
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Marketing programs that run on infrastructure, also improve the strength, efficiency
or effectiveness of that infrastructure.
Overall marketing expenditures can decrease over time, or similar sized
investments can deliver larger returns.
Marketing expenditures have
investment components
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Brands with strong infrastructures spend less on
marketing and enjoy greater differentiation and
distinctiveness.
Infrastructure Double
Jeopardy?
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Infrastructure building
requires unique skills.
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Campaigns Infrastructure
Long-term thinking
Utility as currency
Strategic and creative
Business/marketing focus
Fundamental innovation required
Very little competition
Unique and valuable
Short-term thinking
Attention as currency
Purely creative
Communications focus
Tactical innovation required
Crowded space for agencies
Commoditized
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Brand-centric and consumer-centric development
need to be balanced. At the infrastructure level, brand-
centricity may lead.
At the program level, consumer-centricity will lead
Brand-centric
development and
consumer-centric
development
Growth
Platform
Mass
Platform
CORE
BELIEF &
PURPOSE
Always-On
Ecosystem
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Creativity & cultural alignment
Functional excellence for infrastructure is not enough. VRBO and airbnb have similar infrastructure. The winners
will capture people’s imagination and build upon big ideas in modern culture.
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Ultimately infrastructure
makes modern brands more
tangible and more valuable
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Modern brands evolving from ideas to networks
Rather than becoming less important or abstract, we believe brands are becoming more tangible and more real.
Modern brands are networks of assets and relationships that are “hard-coded” into place
DAVID OGILVY
The intangible sum of a
product’s attributes.
JOHN GRANT
The sum of the great
ideas used to build that
brand
ZEUS JONES
BRAND AS IDEAS
The sum of the assets
and networks that are
owned by the brand
BRAND AS ACTIONS BRAND AS NETWORKS
OWNED BY CONSUMER CO-CREATED OWNED BY COMPANY
Zeus Jones All rights reserved
Thank You

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Infrastructure for modern brands

  • 1. 2640 Lyndale Ave. South | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408 | T +1 612 279 1400 | www.zeusjones.com Modern Brand Infrastructure August 2015
  • 2. An operating model for modern brands. How can a modern brand think about and organize to accomplish all of its necessary operations? What are the different channels, disciplines and programs required to bring a brand to life entirely through its actions? Zeus Jones All rights reserved Thomas Bruce (trbpix) on Flickr licensed under creative commons
  • 3. How can actions speak louder than words when words are still often required to scale actions? The central issue: 
 Even today, brands are challenged by scale. Zeus Jones All rights reservedImage via http://bristram.blogspot.com/
  • 4. Generating a viral hit is as fraught with uncertainty and risk as developing the next 1984 spot. A viral/WOM model simply replaces one lottery for another. Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 5. Facebook is now a mass reach medium, interaction is minimal at best. Scale via social is next to impossible to generate without paid advertising. Social networks are rapidly devolving into the networks of old Zeus Jones All rights reservedImage via forbes.com
  • 6. This is why paid media continues to proliferate and advertising remains the business model of the majority of digital startups. Free, mass communication has not materialized as promised. Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 7. Yet some of the most successful brands play by a different set of rules. Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 8. Branding evolving from comms to experiences It’s clear that branding has evolved. Messages are being replaced by interactions and campaigns are giving way to comprehensive experiences. Sound an alarm! Advertising, not deals, builds brands. ERIC RYAN Building a brand is about a thousand little new touches. Consistency is only for liars. HOWARD SCHULTZ COMMUNICATIONS Authentic brands don't emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does. INTERACTIONS EXPERIENCES ONE-WAY TWO-WAY CONTINUOUS DAVID OGILVY Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 9. Some brands build around existing user behavior For many, the starting point in “brand experience” is understanding a person’s existing behavior and then attempting to fit into their life. However, this is still done primarily through content or fighting for attention CONSUMER Existing Behavior Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 10. Great brands think about desired behavior They understand what people would like to do, even when the people don’t know it themselves. CONSUMER Existing Behavior Desired Behavior Commoditized Functional advantage Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 11. They deliver desired benefits in a differentiated way Modern brands enable new behaviors and create rituals based upon delivering unique experiences. They don’t simply fit into a person’s existing day, they enhance it in proprietary ways. CONSUMER Existing Behavior Desired Behavior Unique Rituals Commoditized Functional advantage Highly differentiated Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 12. Desired benefits delivered in differentiated ways Brands like Starbucks, Uber and Warby Parker have created unique and highly branded rituals around enabling new possibilities and behaviors for their customers Created a coffee culture Defined a new lifestyle Eyewear becomes seasonal Zeus Jones All rights reserved Imageviaslashgear.com Imageviamilanocard.it Imageviahttp://on-select.com/
  • 13. Not simply better ideas, 
 better infrastructure. Zeus Jones All rights reserved Image via 1wallpaper.ne
  • 14. Infrastructure is key to their unique delivery Their delivery infrastructure is key to modern brands’ experience. None of these companies would be what they are today if they delivered over the same infrastructure as their competition. The third space Your private driver A personal dressing room Zeus Jones All rights reserved Imageviamenemshasolutions.com Imageviaconnexient.com Imageviapingwest.com
  • 15. Infrastructure owners are incentivized to standardize. They are not trying to help you differentiate. They are trying to sell standardized, repeatable blocks of time and space. Existing brand infrastructure forces standardization Zeus Jones All rights reserved Image via Google
  • 16. Modern brands are built on top of ideas, platforms and ecosystems that let them communicate, interact, service and sell without having to pay an intermediary. This enables more growth, higher levels of efficiency, and deeper, more permanent relationships with key stakeholders. Modern brands own their infrastructure Zeus Jones All rights reserved Image via wc-news.com
  • 17. 1. Aquire and convert new customers 2. Build markets and communicate with mass audiences 3. Engage with existing customers Infrastructure lets brands fulfill key tasks directly Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 18. They control the experience they deliver They control the way they drive revenue This provides them with huge leverage if and when they deal with a 3rd party channel or paid media Ultimately owned infrastructure lets brands control their destiny Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 19. Elements of modern brand infrastructure
  • 20. 1. Growth 2. Mass 3. Loyalty Infrastructure built upon three different kinds of platforms Growth Platform Mass Platform CORE BELIEF & PURPOSE Loyalty Platform Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 21. Largely content and/or services ecosystems Drive engagement with brand, additional usage/ consumption of product is desired result. Loyalty Platforms manage relationships with current users. Loyalty Platform Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 22. • Self-sustaining • Based on a value exchange for all parties • Leverages external content creators for efficiency • Assembles brand and partner assets into a cohesive “media” network • Optimized for traffic/SEO and user experience • Can contain both digital and physical assets • Includes a workflow as well as a structural map • Fed by other platforms Ideal Properties of an Loyalty Platform Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 23. We have built a comprehensive loyalty platform for Post It that engages multiple segments of users on an on- going basis It is fueled by a wide range of partners and delivers useful content and services that drive usage and additional purchase. Content extends throughout the owned platforms into partner and retailer platforms. Example: Post It. Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 24. Red Bull have turned content into a revenue stream that rivals (if not beats) the revenue derived from their core product. It doesn’t simply participate in niche sports, it builds and creates them, monetizing the content that is created. Networks like NBC, now pay Red Bull to advertise on their channels. Gold standard: 
 Red Bull Zeus Jones All rights reserved Image via battlegrounds.redbull.com
  • 25. Operations as marketing and vice-versa Drive revenue and operational enhancements while also delivering marketing benefits Growth platforms: deliver marketing benefits as an effect of remarkable operationsGrowth Ecosystem(s) Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 26. • Based upon an operational asset • Built on an exchange of value • Usage builds the strength of that asset • An acquisition tool - often generates WOM • Engages collaboration partners • Acts as the primary growth engine for the company • Delivers marketing benefits as a collateral benefit Properties of a Growth Platform Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 27. Mobile interface to existing service makes diagnostic logic transparent and accessible Has rapidly grown to encompass a significant portion of overall visits Created entirely new usage scenarios and a timely acquisition channel Example: virtuwell Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 28. Exposes a key part of operations - fleet scheduling. Drives operational efficiency as it offloads scheduling onto drivers and customers. Delivers marketing benefits through delight and ease of use. Viral/talk value built into the core use case. Drives penetration through mobility of customer base Gold standard: Uber app Zeus Jones All rights reserved Image via bloomberg.com
  • 29. And can deliver a multitude of different marketing benefits Growth platforms can be built around a host of different operational assets Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 30. Operations Assets Marketing benefits Awareness Engagement Advocacy Consideration Preference Choice Customer service Efficiency Competitive advantage New functionality R&D HR Sales Logistics Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 31. Almost exclusively a communications medium Creates enough mass and interest for earned media to drive a significant portion of scale. Key task is creating demand to be fulfilled by other platforms in the brand infrastructure Mass Platforms aggregate audiences for reach Mass Ecosystem Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 32. • Aggregate advocates and mass media to drive huge scale • Operate on the company’s calendar not a media calendar • Work in pulses or bursts that are timed to big news • Often have their own marketing program built around them • Highly connected to other platforms Properties of a Mass Platform Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 33. Through our Better With Pets Summit, we have built a platform that engages the industry, bloggers and press to help share key Purina innovations and values. Example: BWP Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 34. Since pulling out of Macworld in 2008, Apple has tuned its own events and announcements to a fine edge. Teasers, releases, conventions, rituals and importantly, huge amounts of PR, and earned media mean Apple really doesn’t need to advertise. In fact it spends a fraction on paid media compared to rivals like Samsung. Gold standard: Apple Events Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 35. These platforms will vary in size and importance depending upon the nature of the brand and its needs. In some cases, brands may not need all three platforms Different brands will have different infrastructure needs Growth Platform Mass Platform CORE BELIEF & PURPOSE Loyalty Platform Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 37. Campaigns and “big ideas” still have a place, but they operate primarily on the brand’s owned platforms rather than requiring rented media space. (Campaigns can also be used to build infrastructure when it doesn’t exist.) Campaigns still have an important role Zeus Jones All rights reserved Image via Nike
  • 38. Interactions, experiences, messages and behaviors can be assigned to one or more platforms. Importantly platforms are also not asked to do things that they simply can’t. Promotions: Loyalty and Growth New Products: Mass & Loyalty Etc. Segmented channels simplify planning Growth Platform Mass Platform Loyalty Platform CORE BELIEF & PURPOSE Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 39. Infrastructure enables short and long-term efficiency. Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 40. Marketing programs that run on infrastructure, also improve the strength, efficiency or effectiveness of that infrastructure. Overall marketing expenditures can decrease over time, or similar sized investments can deliver larger returns. Marketing expenditures have investment components Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 41. Brands with strong infrastructures spend less on marketing and enjoy greater differentiation and distinctiveness. Infrastructure Double Jeopardy? Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 42. Infrastructure building requires unique skills. Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 43. Campaigns Infrastructure Long-term thinking Utility as currency Strategic and creative Business/marketing focus Fundamental innovation required Very little competition Unique and valuable Short-term thinking Attention as currency Purely creative Communications focus Tactical innovation required Crowded space for agencies Commoditized Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 44. Brand-centric and consumer-centric development need to be balanced. At the infrastructure level, brand- centricity may lead. At the program level, consumer-centricity will lead Brand-centric development and consumer-centric development Growth Platform Mass Platform CORE BELIEF & PURPOSE Always-On Ecosystem Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 45. Creativity & cultural alignment Functional excellence for infrastructure is not enough. VRBO and airbnb have similar infrastructure. The winners will capture people’s imagination and build upon big ideas in modern culture. Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 46. Ultimately infrastructure makes modern brands more tangible and more valuable Zeus Jones All rights reserved
  • 47. Modern brands evolving from ideas to networks Rather than becoming less important or abstract, we believe brands are becoming more tangible and more real. Modern brands are networks of assets and relationships that are “hard-coded” into place DAVID OGILVY The intangible sum of a product’s attributes. JOHN GRANT The sum of the great ideas used to build that brand ZEUS JONES BRAND AS IDEAS The sum of the assets and networks that are owned by the brand BRAND AS ACTIONS BRAND AS NETWORKS OWNED BY CONSUMER CO-CREATED OWNED BY COMPANY Zeus Jones All rights reserved