About the speaker:
Gregg Heard is the VP of brand identity and design at AT&T. Gregg has been in the branding game for 22+ years on both the corporate side at AT&T, prior to that at Philips, and on the agency side brands including Logitech, Sony, IBM, Harper Collins, Caterpillar, Revo Sunglasses and UPS.
Smartphone adoption is now at ~50% in the US and dominate new phone purchases. This handheld technology has changed the way we interact with places, things, and one another. Greg believes that there are 4 types of digital interactions spurred by smartphone technology.
Digital Intimacy: Simply, it means we are closer with our friends and family even when we are apart.
Digital Kinship: Creating new connections and new types of shared interests that allow us to break down barriers between generations, interests.
Digital Guardianship: We’re more productive, even when we are pressed for time. It’s a simple message “Hey, I just landed, I’ll be home for dinner”
Digital Heroism: We have high-quality content available to us at any time. It allows us to create learning moments.
People ultimately love their handheld technology, but don’t have the same affection for the carrier. In fact, Greg compared it to the relationship between buying a car and then purchasing insurance. Buying a car is fun and sexy, much like getting a new phone. On the other hand, the interaction with purchasing insurance is not quite as exciting, similar to that of working with your mobile carrier. There’s a couple of reasons for that:
- Overwhelming and confusion
- A neccessary inconvenience
- Lack of transparency
- Unclear added value
In an effort to change this paradigm, AT&T is working to “humanize” their marketing approach. There are 4 key ways they hope to humanize their brand:
Look: Starts with a focus on the look of the brand. AT&T has announced new plans for a flagship retail space on Michigan Ave. in Chicago.
Speak: AT&T moving away from generic, impersonal text marketing. One example includes a text message alert that is sent when a customer leaves the country to alert them of potential charges begins with “Hey Globetrotter…” versus “You are now subject to…”
Sound: AT&T is beginning to brand sounds. Sonic accents that you will recognize in ads and in the technology. Think audio
Behave: The new branding strategy is also focusing on how tech can bring possibility to people’s lives: “it’s what you do with what we do.”