We sit at desks doing research. We spend countless hours going over analytics. We study behaviours, trends and movements, always striving to get that one key insight that will stand above the rest for our message to be heard and resonate with the target audience. And we do it well.
But, behaviours change. People are not robots. And even on the back of regular patterns or predictable traffic flows, they will change into different directions at their whim. So how do we better our understanding in order to predict these movements? How do we dig deeper and be prepared for change alongside them?
Add to this mix the difficulty in navigating complexity here in Asia, which has over half the world’s population within its boundaries, approximately 2,200 languages spoken and cultures so diverse that it may seem an almost impossible task to ever truly get into the mindset of people here. The answer is to evolve thinking to beyond the purchasing cycle. The answer is to gain real insights connecting with entire generations within each country in a renewed approach to engage them. In a socialized, democratized media environment, your brand is only relevant if it has something unique to say, consistently – every single day to become part of a 24/7 Living Brand.
Edelman Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa’s flagship project Words of a Generation has been embarked upon with the ambitious objective of trying to reignite the simple magic and the responsibility of really, truly getting to know customers as people and, in this part of the world, as people who have lived through extraordinary change. The idea is to focus on: People, not consumers. On Insights, not data. The team has released films for the Words of a Generation series from China, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam and is in the process of filming in Indonesia and India to search for real insights that reveal the differences between individuals and generations, as well as the universal similarities that cut across boundaries.
Insights gained through people are truly the most powerful for any consultant to both understand the landscape in which they operate and in creating content alongside the mindset of someone who is more than a subject focus for a client or campaign – they are a 24/7 Living Brand for their country.
Asia is dynamic and growing with amazing new challenges and opportunities set in a wildly diverse context, so in order to create pathways for businesses to convert and connect with the local people, we as consultants can never afford to apply a default setting. Because people are always changing, the brief and the insights are always changing as well, so we must always have intelligence and intuition as the foundation of our approach. Innovative projects like Words of a Generation are where the intrinsic value of true understanding will filter through each and every piece of work that you do.
Based in Singapore, Timothy Weller is a manager across Edelman’s Finance and Corporate teams, specialising in strategic advice and implementing key communications spearheading direction for regional and global clients. He is passionate on Transmedia campaigns involving brand identity, positioning and strategy; and integrated marketing communications in order to provide the most effective counsel for PR solutions.