This year at Cannes, Publicis Media celebrated the true meaning of Brand transformation bringing together brave leaders who are embracing disruption. Participants, including singer-songwriter Halsey, radio/TV host Ryan Seacrest, storyteller Ira Glass, columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin, actor Reggie Yates, and journalist Benjamin Zand, shared stories around personal, cultural, industry, and business transformation.

AUTHENTICITY IN STORYTELLING:

Authenticity is a maker or breaker of content. Halsey, who branded herself on social media in her rise to stardom, reasoned that millennials don’t trust brands on social media because they view themselves as better at social than brands are. Powerful content comes from people who immerse themselves in the subject matter. When an influencer aligns with a brand, the audience must perceive the partnership as authentic. But, sometimes, authenticity isn’t enough. Ira Glass commented: “Great stories happen to those who tell them.” Compelling story delivery is as important as the content itself.

STAYING AFLOAT IN TIMES OF DISRUPTION:

According to Publicis Media’s proprietary Predictor research, most brands overestimate their abilities to deliver on customer’ evolving needs, with 85% noting they are innovating, but consumers feeling it’s more like 60%. It’s important for marketers to make innovation visible to consumers and enroll them in transformation efforts. To address this mindset, Kim Kadlec shared that Visa is focusing on reducing cash dependency, pursuing solutions that enable cashless payment across devices. Visa also aligned its key data stakeholders to share data faster, enabling them to activate better consumer experiences ahead of the competition.

MANAGING CHANGE OF AMAZONIAN PROPORTIONS:

Andre Ross Sorkin called the Amazon-Whole Foods acquisition one of the biggest deals of this decade and a move that will revolutionize grocery stores, food delivery, subscription services and retail as we know it. According to the Predictor research, supermarkets are one of the most disrupted categories in the next five years, with seamless shopping, new payment methods and on-demand access leading its evolution.

It’s clear we live in a world where disruption is mainstream. Everyone has a millennial mindset based on their acceptance of change and the speed at which they adapt. For any brand to be successful today, they need to be authentic storytellers, inclusive innovators and pioneers with an eye on the next wave of disruption.

Author: Richard Hartell, Global Practice Lead, Business Transformation, Publicis Media