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#GLF18 | Mercedes Erra: "There is a fundamental path: the central role of the consumer in brand logic"

"60% of people in the world believe society is going in the wrong direction. This is a real change in perception, before people followed a less worried logic. In France 70% of people surveyed think society has taken the wrong turn.”

There are several reasons for this:

This perception is intensified by crises which give the impression that the world is undergoing a general consumer crisis. Consumers are now questioning the way we live. They are concerned that the planet runs a risk that they perceive as immense.

Clearly one of the things most affected is the relationship with consumption. This presents a major challenge. Consumption were once the stakes of progress. Today, we think about our consumption, we will be more demanding and particularly with respect to our needs. "Will it really please me? Do I really need this? Does it suit me?"

The consumer is ready to change in order to consume better. Of course, rational consumption is not the only kind of consumption, but there is much less impulsiveness. Brands are more difficult to build and to develop than before. There is less commitment and interest. Consumers are more committed to points of view than brands. The brand is much more challenged.

Today, to build brands, several people must come to an agreement. I'm not sure the Internet is the right channel for brand building. I'm not sure we're on the right track. Everything is going digital; be careful not to over-interact.

There is a fundamental path: the central role of the consumer in brand logic. Consumers think of themselves as the centre of everything. They have a digital ecosystem built around them. The relationship with digital is being modelled on the relationship with CRM. The biggest CRM in the world is digital.

Today, everyone and companies are nervous about the use of data. It must be kept simple, use common sense, simplify the path of consumption, there are always mandatory steps.

Building a brand requires real leadership. We were too interested in people's conversations rather than the fact that brands should make proposals. "I offer you this way of seeing life."  Brands must increasingly prove to consumers that they will be important in the future, that they will play a role.

We're moving towards a concentration of brands. Those that survive and succeed will address the issues that are important to consumers.

People are interested in health, so brands in this sector have a role. We must dare to be clear about its proposal. Emmanuel Macron, for example, came with a point of view.

A brand in the hotel business must integrate its point of view integral to the service. This vision must be clear in the service offered, in the proposal. To fight in this world of disengagement, to recreate commitment.

One key point, leadership: products used to be automatically associated with a brand, now we must invent the product and the brand. The brand must show the product and the offer. When you give meaning, you offer a perspective regarding the proposal.

The brand is no longer just a product, it has become a company. The people who work in the brand help define the brand. Good products treat the people who work there well. The brand is the company.

We prefer to buy products from people we think are good. There are many challenges for corporate understanding and behaviour towards the planet, depending on the company's values. It makes the company's behaviour clear and transparent.

In addition to marketing, a brand must behave as it defines itself. These marks will withstand the current turmoil. Afterward they will be able to evolve."

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