Twitter: The Three Traits Of A Technologically Innovate Brand

Twitter: The Three Traits Of A Technologically Innovate Brand

Speaking today at the ADMA Global Forum in Sydney, Twitter’s head of brand strategy, Grant Baxter, explained very simply what it takes for brands to be engaging and technologically innovative in this day and age.

Huntley Mitchell
Posted by Huntley Mitchell

When it comes to engagement, Baxter said there are three key factors that make brands successful in this light.

“The first is empathy – do you get me as a consumer?” he said.

“As a brand, are you able to show me subtly that you understand the world that I live in, and if you can do that, I might be a little bit more receptive to your message.

“The second one is entertainment. We forget that content is designed to entertain, and often the brands that go viral are the ones that actually entertain us the most.”

Baxter said the final factor that determines successful brand engagement is the distinction between awareness and attention, “which is interesting because it challenges the notion of reach”.

“Particularly in Australia, we often hear about reach, which is important, but it is increasingly becoming more about attention,” he noted.

As for being technologically innovative, Baxter identified three traits which brands must possess.

“The first one is confidence,” he said. “Of the brands that I’ve worked with which seem to be able to innovate or seem to have a fresh perspective on things, they have a supreme confidence in what they do – they understand the role of the platform they use, whether or not it’s Twitter, and do the basics very well, which allows them to push on and challenge themselves by doing something different.

“The second piece is your attitude to risk – it has to be healthy, and the brands that I work with who are able to innovate are the ones that appreciate that things will fail and accept that that’s part of innovating.”

According to Baxter, the third attribute of a technologically innovate brand is their ability to be collaborative in their way of working.

“The way that we’re working with brands now [at Twitter], it’s not traditional digital teams and social teams,” he said.

“They’re businesses that are bringing in other teams – corporate comms, PR, customer service – and they’re all sort of coming together and going for a common objective, and what that does if you consider attitude to risk, because it’s fluid, is that they’re able to work faster and get things signed off more quickly.”

Baxter said Snickers is a great example of a technologically innovative brand using Twitter as a utility.

“It built the Hungerithm, which was effectively an algorithm that aggregated all the anger and negativity on the internet, and said that as the anger on the internet increased, the price of a Snickers bar would decrease in real time,” he said.

Speaking recently at the ADMA Global Forum in Sydney, Twitter’s head of brand strategy, Grant Baxter, explained very simply what it takes for brands to be engaging and technologically innovative in this day and age.

When it comes to engagement, Baxter said there are three key factors that make brands successful in this light.

“The first is empathy – do you get me as a consumer?” he said.

“As a brand, are you able to show me subtly that you understand the world that I live in, and if you can do that, I might be a little bit more receptive to your message.

“The second one is entertainment. We forget that content is designed to entertain, and often the brands that go viral are the ones that actually entertain us the most.”

Baxter said the final factor that determines successful brand engagement is the distinction between awareness and attention, “which is interesting because it challenges the notion of reach”.

“Particularly in Australia, we often hear about reach, which is important, but it is increasingly becoming more about attention,” he noted.

As for being technologically innovative, Baxter identified three traits which brands must possess.

“The first one is confidence,” he said. “Of the brands that I’ve worked with which seem to be able to innovate or seem to have a fresh perspective on things, they have a supreme confidence in what they do – they understand the role of the platform they use, whether or not it’s Twitter, and do the basics very well, which allows them to push on and challenge themselves by doing something different.

“The second piece is your attitude to risk – it has to be healthy, and the brands that I work with who are able to innovate are the ones that appreciate that things will fail and accept that that’s part of innovating.”

According to Baxter, the third attribute of a technologically innovate brand is their ability to be collaborative in their way of working.

“The way that we’re working with brands now [at Twitter], it’s not traditional digital teams and social teams,” he said.

“They’re businesses that are bringing in other teams – corporate comms, PR, customer service – and they’re all sort of coming together and going for a common objective, and what that does if you consider attitude to risk, because it’s fluid, is that they’re able to work faster and get things signed off more quickly.”

Baxter said Snickers is a great example of a technologically innovative brand using Twitter as a utility.

“It built the Hungerithm, which was effectively an algorithm that aggregated all the anger and negativity on the internet, and said that as the anger on the internet increased, the price of a Snickers bar would decrease in real time,” he said.

“So you could get a voucher of a reduced-priced Snickers bar on your phone, take it into a 7-Eleven and redeem it, and you could see when a Snickers bar was cheapest based on the algorithm.

“It was a brilliant idea, it’s lovely technology, and the reason I like it is because of its narrative. If you think of Snickers’ whole campaign premise of ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’, this tongue-and-cheek thought of ‘what if the internet was so angry because everyone is just hungry?’ made it really compelling, and it drove sales into 7-Eleven.”

“So you could get a voucher of a reduced-priced Snickers bar on your phone, take it into a 7-Eleven and redeem it, and you could see when a Snickers bar was cheapest based on the algorithm.

“It was a brilliant idea, it’s lovely technology, and the reason I like it is because of its narrative. If you think of Snickers’ whole campaign premise of ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’, this tongue-and-cheek thought of ‘what if the internet was so angry because everyone is just hungry?’ made it really compelling, and it drove sales into 7-Eleven.”