Campaign, January 2023

It’s a volatile world and we just live in it

The role of branding, marketing and communications has never been more important in trying to solve global issues and helping intersectional audiences navigate the world we live in.

We have a responsibility not to allow people to forget the meaning behind the immense shifts of the past few years.

A responsibility to create the future we want and need for people and the planet without greenwashing. And a responsibility to push things forward with intent, purpose, courage and empathy.

Credibility and relevance must become the objective to rebuild consumer trust, decolonise the industry and reduce cancel/callout culture, which was already circling in pre-Covid times.

For brands, that takes a commitment of time, effort and money to unlock their credible role in culture.

We have a rare opportunity to make cultural relevance a growth driver: to create short- and long-term plans that work at the speed of culture, understand how these cultural shifts affect behaviours and attitudes, and to create employee engagement and incentives around inclusivity, curiosity, experimentation and innovation.

Getting this right will ensure we produce work that drives positive impact, finds latent audiences and reaches dormant and existing consumers where and how they want… ultimately resulting in positive business growth.

At Platform13, we do this by assembling bespoke, crack teams of the most relevant global voices who represent, shape and create culture to answer brand challenges, unlocking relevance, unleashing creativity and creating positive conversation.

Big funnel energy

The past few years have seen a massive uptick in lower funnel performance marketing and promotion – and their traditional measurements of success read through KPIs and ROI. This was done at the expense of brand-building in the pursuit of explosive business growth. In a world of uncertainty, brand love and loyalty will help, so balancing those short-term sales with long-term growth is essential. But with that will come an evolution in how clients brief and how we measure success.

Ask not what your community can do for you, but what you can do for them

If brands want to resonate with their target audience, they must earn their place in the culture or community they want to connect with. Meaningful connection trumps paid reach, especially as the algorithmic social heavyweights’ influence and relevance starts to fluctuate.

Let’s get phygital, but make it culture-first_

For too long we have had to deal with the same creative ideas repackaged, the same formats repurposed with the same type of mindsets saying the same thing.

The past few years have unleashed a new era of creativity – with radical inclusivity, new-world innovation with AI, the explosion of crypto, blockchain systems and Web3, and multiple and mixed realities using VR/AR/XR at the forefront disrupting the limitations of the traditional channels of experiences, retail, marketing and communications.

At Platform13, creativity is contextual to culture – it needs not only to have reach but resonance, sitting at that unique intersection of “brand” and “culture”.

This will explode as the talent diversity pool continues to widen, both internally and with external teams (procurement policies and the pitching process needs updating for this to make an impact on the type of agencies/partners/collaborators brands work with).

Now more than ever, a constant influx of fresh and relevant cultural perspectives throughout the creative process is necessary and will serve only to strengthen the work. This in turn drives brand fame and business growth, while making an impact on the community, socially and financially.

Convergence of corporate and consumer comms

As always, actions speak louder than words. Saying a brand is doing “X” or committed to achieving “X” by 2030 is no longer enough – it’s never been more important to transparently and tangibly act on corporate policies and promises.

By doing cultural relevance right, organisations can ensure they and their communities win – the only option when it comes to modern marketing, not to mention that priceless brand advocacy. The brands and companies that do this authentically will be remembered for the right reasons.


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