Letters to the Editor: A convincing story doesn’t make a brand authentic

I was surprised by the list generated in the ‘Authentic branding’ article. I concur that many on the list are famous brands with strong emotional connections to their customers and can be assigned large monetary brand value, but I am not sure that they are truly authentic.

Authentic brands have a much stronger sense of their role in the world, and their moral purpose makes them more resilient to outside pressures and more trusting of their employees and customers. This makes them genuinely open to solicit opposing viewpoints while retaining their own sense of what is right.

Perhaps truly authentic brands don’t have to hide behind storytelling to become valuable in the eyes of their customers, they can simply reflect their customers’ behaviour and align this with their own vision? Waitrose, Nationwide and M&S feel more authentic within this definition with only M&S making the Top 20.

Kate Cox, managing partner strategy and ideas, Havas Media

Programmatic has spawned a new trading model

More and more brands have the ambition to be closer to software but rumours of the agency’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

In our experience with global brands such as Lenovo and Mondelez, brands want to take control of their data and view their local and global activity in a more accountable and holistic manner. However, their respective agencies still tend to be the ones that execute their video buy, increasing their importance in overall media strategy.

This hybrid trading desk model lends multiple benefits as it allows the brand to own its data; the agency to maintain full transparency in pricing, performance and delivery; the brand to retain the agency’s expertise and keep close proximity between programmatic initiatives and traditional strategies; unification of disparate localised tactics under a single global strategy (including real-time creative iteration); and the ability to plan and buy holistically without regard for device or medium.

Nick Reid, UK managing director, TubeMogul

Take care this Christmas

Your article ‘Loyalty is for life, not just for Christmas’ and the fact that I received my first Christmas email this week (and have seen mince pies in the Co-op), has got me thinking about festive messaging.

For retailers seeking not only to survive the Christmas period but to come out of the other side stronger, less is more. Indeed, retailers should focus on sending fewer more personalised messages, rather than mass mailing with a generic message.

Usually it becomes a numbers game at Christmas, with the pressure on to send as many emails as possible, when actually the lack of targeting means nobody opens them.

As your recent article stated about generating long-term customer loyalty, retailers must ensure they don’t ruin their customer relationships with bombardments of marketing messages over this festive period.

Bah humbug!

Steve Grout, chief executive, Tangent Snowball

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