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Collision 2019: How to keep a brand relevant

Rogers Chief Digital Officer Lisa Durocher joined a panel of experts at Collision Conference, to share her expertise on brands and customer experience. 

Speakers at the collision conference sitting on a stage

Although it’s dubbed North America’s fastest-growing tech conference, Collision is about more than technology—it’s about how technology intersects with nearly every aspect of life and business. There’s plenty of discussion about how technology will drive marketing, for instance, but also how integral marketing is to getting the word out about new technology.

As a partner of Collision 2019, Rogers had leaders participating in various panels and discussions covering a range of topics, including how to create and maintain brand relevance.

“I think this is the category where most people would say they expect more,” said Lisa Durocher, Chief Digital Officer for Rogers Communications, when asked how customer experience affects the brand perception of telecommunications companies. “I think increasingly we see the role of customer experience as being the thing that differentiates companies from each other. We need to have a differentiated experience and make the brand worthwhile for people. Especially as we head into IoT and 5G, the role of telcos is going to change so much, we need to see around those corners and anticipate the problems we can solve for customers tomorrow.”

Moderated by Michelle Castillo, Senior Reporter at live-streaming financial news network, Cheddar, the panel also featured leaders from brand consultancy, Wolff Olins, software company, Medallia, and PR firm, Weber Shandwick.

When asked about the importance of a company’s origin story, Lisa reiterated that it’s fulfilling your company’s mission that makes all the difference. “I think that's the point of an origin story in many cases is to explain what matters and why you're delivering that service to customers.”

When the subject turned to leveraging culture and cultural moments to create better brand awareness, several examples were cited, including Oreo’s ‘You can still dunk in the dark’ Twitter ad during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout and Bud Light’s victory fridges opened at bars all over Cleveland after the Browns won their first game since 2016. As successful as these campaigns were, Lisa cautioned that jumping on such moments could have the opposite effect. “I think it has to be connected to the brand and the insights that consumers have,” she said. “I agree it can go so wrong if it's inauthentic or people are trying to capitalize on something that's not relevant to what they promised a customer.”

Finally, when it came to brand-building advice for start-ups, suggestions ranged from getting your investment story right to making sure your product is the best it can be to staying close to your customers.

“Make sure you're really clear on the problem you're solving and the customer segment you're solving it for,” said Lisa. “Having a very clear purpose and a real focus on understanding the customer and solving specific issues set you up better in the long run than trying to compete with everybody or solve every problem.”