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The Branding Observatory analyses the importance of more human relationships between brands and people in its 11th edition
The Branding Observatory analyses the importance of more human relationships between brands and people in its 11th edition

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  • Communities are gaining more and more value as spaces for brand contribution.
  • Segmentation continues to be an essential tool to establish a relevant relationship with the public, but it must go beyond demographic segmentation.

Madrid, 19 April 2023. At a time when technology is achieving major developments, brands have to establish increasingly human and close relationships with their audiences and communities. This is one of the main lessons learned from the 11th edition of the Branding Observatory held on 19 April at the Espacio Fundación Telefónica in Madrid. This event, organised by the Marketing Association of Spain (AMKT), GfK, Summa Branding, the Leading Brands of Spain Forum (FMRE) and PONS IP, brought together more than 150 professionals from the world of branding and marketing to analyse and discuss the current state of relationships between brands and their audiences.

Víctor Conde, General Manager at AMKT, and Rafael Fernández de Alarcón, Global Marketing Director at Telefónica, a collaborating company in this eleventh edition of the Observatory, delivered the opening speech. Conde emphasised that “technology must be a facilitator of human relations, and not an obstacle to them”. For his part, Fernández de Alarcón recalled that Telefónica’s purpose is “to make our world more humane, connecting people’s lives”.

The event’s first talk was given by Federico Martínez, Business Development Director at GfK Spain, titled ‘Segment and you will conquer. How to grow through a dual strategy that harmonises the short and long term’. Today, a brand must speak to the general market, while at the same time be able to selectively mobilise specific groups in its audience. To do this, Martínez explained, “correct segmentation that not only considers the different profiles of people and their values, but also segments the occasions -moments, contexts, circumstances- in which they can receive a certain message, is essential. Crossing data from occasion segments and people segments ensures maximum relevance in communication”.

Next, Rafael Soto, Head of Creative and Experience at Summa, presented ‘Communities: the new roles and opportunities for brands to connect with people’. Soto explained that the best thing brands can do today is “enter the territory of the different communities related to their product or service, and make relevant contributions through valuable content, memorable experiences or products that positively transform the lives of this community”.

Next, a round table discussion took place with the participation of José Cabanas, Global CMO at Corporación Hijos de Rivera; Ángel Fernández, Head of Global Brand & Strategy at LaLiga; Inma Grass, Co-founder and Partner at Altafonte; and Pablo Rodríguez, Area Vice-President of Enterprise Sales at Salesforce; all of them moderated by Nuria Marcos, General Director at PONS IP.

They all agreed to search for the human aspect in the relationship with their audiences: “Estrella Galicia wants to be the most loved beer, not necessarily the most sold. We seek to conquer the customer’s heart, not their wallet”, affirmed José Cabanas.

Moreover, Inma Grass explained that at Altafonte “we promote transparency in the relationship with our artists. Thanks to our technological platform, they themselves can follow the dissemination of their music in real time”.

Pablo Rodríguez pointed out, in reference to Salesforce, that its “five essential values are trust, the search for our clients’ success, innovation, equality and sustainability. And these values truly drive our daily decisions”.

Furthermore, Ángel Fernández predicted that “the great debate of the future will focus on the responsible use of the great multitude of data provided by technologies”. A statement endorsed by the moderator Nuria Marcos: “legal certainty, respect for privacy and the correct use of data are necessary to build a quality human relationship”.

Next, Adriana Domínguez, Executive President at Adolfo Domínguez, and Tamara Pirojkova, Marketing Director at FMRE, discussed the challenges of leading the transformation of the role of brands that is as intense as the current one, without losing its essence. For Domínguez, it is necessary to “understand society, listen to it, be empathetic with it to know the best contribution that we can make from each brand and how we can benefit all our audiences”.

Meanwhile, Pirojkova highlighted the fact that “the fundamental key to the relationship between people and brands is trust, as with what happens in human and personal relationships”.

To conclude the event, Félix Muñoz, professor and marketing consultant and also master of ceremonies of this Branding Observatory, provided the attendees with this edition’s main findings:

  • Communities today must be understood as places where brands must make valuable contributions, with closeness and a commitment to be useful.
  • Segmentation continues to be an essential tool to establish a relevant relationship with the public, but it must go beyond demographic segmentation: content that adds value must be identified.
  • Technology is at the service of people and brands must use it responsibly to maintain and increase the trust of their audiences.

In this eleventh edition, the Branding Observatory establishes itself as a benchmark event for the analysis and discussion of all aspects related to the world of branding and brand management, thus promoting the intangible economy.

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