The 6-Step Guide to Future-Proofing Your Brand

Every brand on earth is worried about how to remain relevant. Whether that means switching up tactics to market to millennials or updating your strategy for a mobile audience, we’re not going to lie – there’s a lot that can make you worry.

Luckily, there’s a way to future-proof your brand and stay relevant for the next generation of consumers and devices. Below, we break down all the steps you need to ensure brand security for the next 10, 20, even 30 years.

Future-proofing brands

Image: Flickr/K.Hurley

Step 1: Recognize the problem.

You can’t future-proof your brand until you take a step back and look at the bigger picture. For brands, this means acknowledging the elephant in the boardroom: the advertising industry just isn’t thriving like it used to.

Back in the Mad Men days, advertising was glamorized. Agencies were lauded for their brilliance and ability to determine what was popular in the market. For proof, take a look at the history of diamond ring advertising. Before an agency took control, few folks even thought twice about the value of diamonds. One campaign changed the way the world proposed.

Then things started to shift. In 1999, TiVo emerged, enabling viewers to fast-forward past commercials. Following that, AdBlock rose in popularity, allowing surfers to erase ads from web pages. Now, gamers opt for premium apps over their free counterparts, so they don’t have to click out of interstitials in between levels.

As a whole, people are paying to remove advertising as an industry. One solution…

Step 2: Define your “moment”.

Moments are “in” right now. Google, Facebook, Twitter – they’re all pushing the word as the next big thing. But what does it mean?

Moments take place when consumers are most engaged. In gaming, moments occur when users beat the boss. In fitness, when a runner logs a completed workout. For publishers, when a reader shares their favorite new article. Moments make our hearts race a little faster, our excitement peak, our focus narrow. During these moments, we are often completely absorbed with positive emotion.

To determine your brand moments, find out when your consumers tick and leverage that timing for maximum impact.

One partner who recently integrated our platform was Breathometer, a smart breath analysis system that measures Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) levels to alert users when it’s safe to drive home. In the words of their CEO Michael Yim, Breathometer’s goal was to “celebrate consumers’ smart choices … at the right ‘moments.’”

By embracing the moment and partnering with Kiip, Breathometer reached an astounding 39 percent redemption rate. To put that in perspective, the average banner ad sees a 0.1 percent click-through rate (CTR) and interstitials get around 5 percent.

How to future-proof your brand

Step 3: Respect your customers.

Just like with real estate and relationships, in advertising timing is everything. If you show your brand message at the wrong time, users feel invaded. Don’t interrupt the moment. Instead, respect user behavior.

During one study, IPG Media Lab actually found that moments elevated excitement by 40 percent. If you reach out during moments, users are more receptive to brand messaging. This creates feelings of warmth and favorability towards brands, rather than annoyance. Moreover, reaching out serendipitously ensures your audience will always be surprised and delighted.

Excitement peaks during in-game moments

Breathometer decided their ideal moment was when users blew halfway to the legal driving limit – at 0.4 percent BAC. This was the moment where brand messaging would be most impactful. All that was left was to …

Step 4: Deliver relevant content.

Think about the last ad you saw – chances are, it was a few minutes ago. What was the brand? Did the ad make you feel anything? Do you even remember it?

Sadly, we often forget ads as quickly as we see them. The reason is that they feel generic and impersonal – like a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t actually fit anyone. To create memorable ads, address the moment that’s happening and offer something relevant in return.

This isn’t a new concept. After all, when you finish reading an online article, the publisher recommends similar posts you might enjoy. So it seems natural that when you finish other kinds of digital activity, brands should show you relevant content.

To do this, simply look at your business through the lens of your customer. Would you want to see flashing banner ads taking over your apps, or click on a freezing interstitial linking to a product you might not care about? If you wouldn’t want to interact with those ads, don’t show them to your customer.

When you instead take specific steps towards recognizing and celebrating specific actions, like those mentioned above, you begin to build consumer relationships, and ultimately, increase purchase intent.

Breathometer offered relevant rewards, such as HotelTonight discounts, ridesharing credits and health products that inspired personal wellness. These items gave its users a cause to cheer; getting home safe was easier than ever.

Connected moment inside BreathometerHotelTonight reward inside Breathometer

Step 5: Sync moments across screens.

Moments exist across all digital mediums. Some brands are just getting started on mobile, and panic at the thought of expanding to connected devices.

When you think about moments on new platforms as “connected moments,” you can control the conversation. After all, the emergence of a new screen does not mean you need an entirely new battle plan. In the future, connected moments will captivate us the same way, whether on our fitness trackers, wearables or smart devices in our home and cars.

To future-proof your brand, you have to build a strategy that focuses on human activity. Find the connected moments when people want you to reach them, and add value to those consumers’ lives. Instead of being loud or intrusive, the goal of connected moments will be to capitalize on the opportunities when consumers actually invite brands to participate in the everyday moments in their lives that matter most.

Some examples of other connected moments you may see in the future: Exxon discerning when your car’s gas tank is down to a quarter-full and directing you to the nearest station. A smart refrigerator recognizing when produce is about to spoil and offering a coupon for the next trip to the grocery store. Pacif-i, a Bluetooth-enabled pacifier that monitors baby temperatures, predicting when a fever is on the rise and presenting parents with a free sample of medicine that will make a tough night easier.

Moments are the same everywhere. Apply a connected moments strategy to the network of screens where you want to market, and you can future-proof your brand before your competitors.

Step 6: Partner with a multi-service platform.

To find the platform that suits your needs, look for a business that offers the full buffet of digital advertising options: rewards, native units, mobile loyalty, etc. This platform should deliver the services your audience craves, while offering up a dashboard that measures brand success in real time.

In the end, it’s really about re-shaping your existing message, not changing your entire brand story. If you want to learn more, reach out – we’re happy to help.


Kiip redefines how brands connect with consumers through moment-based rewards. Hundreds of brands already use Kiip. To learn more, visit kiip.me/brands.

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