Startups and the Brand-Consumer Conversation

Startups and the Brand-Consumer Conversation

Speaking with a new team member this week, the topic of the “molecularization” of commerce came up. The theory, he said, is that as we continue down this path of peer-to-peer marketplaces, job hopping and entrepreneurialism (for good or bad), the value of a longtime career will erode to the point where even the idea of a single-job-career is anathema. People will grab little pieces of work here and there based on their skills, needs and ambition.

Because of what we do at Evol8tion, helping big brands innovate through startup partnerships, I couldn’t help but connect this idea to the parallel path the conversation between brands and consumers is being taken by technology. TV advertisements were created in an era where channels and shows acted as a funnel feeding huge swaths of the population to a brand’s message. In contrast, today’s consumer is, well, “molecularized,” grabbing micro-moments of content and information across a number of devices and a multitude of sources.

The question then must become: without the torrent of viewers that used to be reachable with a single television ad, (and for a deeper look at this question, read Joseph Jaffe’s “Life After the 30 Second Spot”) how can brands continue the meaningful conversation with their target market in a relevant way? The answer, for many companies, comes in the form of startups and their technology. Here are two of the best we’ve seen that are helping brands hit their targets in new, and meaningful, ways.

1.     Chicory: “we make recipes shop-able”

Chicory is a company founded through Colgate University’s Thought Into Action program that bridges the gap between foodies, the recipes they love, and the groceries they need to bring them to life. It’s also the quintessential example of a company that leveraged creative thinking and some impressive NLP to help brands reach consumers where they care, in the moment of purchase. With a blogger network of over 850 publishers that yields more than 26 million (and growing!) unique views per month, Chicory is able to reach hundreds of thousands of users who have identified their intent to purchase something in the micro moment before it happens. The idea flips traditional advertising and publishing on its head, relying not on demographic or geographical data to target, but on highly relevant digital content consumption that can indicate intent at the same scale.

2.     Eventable: “we’ve taught calendars some new tricks.”

Where Chicory hits a very specific consumer at a specific time, Eventable helps brands reach consumers where we all already are: on our calendars. By allowing brands to create marketing campaigns based around customizable calendar events, Eventable has opened up a new communication channel where consumers are decidedly more likely (86% by one estimate) to take action. This constant engagement of consumers through a medium that’s checked an average of 10 times daily allows a disparate selection of brands, from clothing to tickets and events, to send timely promotions that drive up marketing efficiency. In this way Eventable really does two things: 1) drive high engagement for brands by advertising where consumers are already engaged and 2) promote these ads in an unobtrusive manner that respects the consumers’ time.

 

This post was written by Jake Guglin. For more information about Chicory, Eventable or Evol8tion, please reach out to jake@startupsforbrands.com.

 

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