In the closing session of Spikes Asia’s second day, presented by Starcom MediaVest Group, Publicis’ Jean-Yves Naouri explored the new "penalty" of leadership.
The chief operating officer of Publicis Groupe and executive chairman of Publicis Worldwide explored how uncertainty and change requires a re-evaluation of brand strategy.
Naouri expressed surprise at how slow the industry — one that prides itself on innovation — had been to change its approach to clients and their needs. "Brands have been told that they just need to be different, but I don’t think this is enough in today’s world," he said.
Brands’ commonality of mission, he added, is to be recognised so they can build and sustain some leadership. “Not to share the market but to lead the market,” he said.
Naouri went on to clarify that leadership does not necessarily mean just leadership of a brand’s category, stressing the importance of evaluating what share it is that the brand wants to lead.
“For example, Coke wants share of 'throat', Citi wants share of trust, L’Oreal wants share of image. Nestle doesn’t just want share of the instant coffee segment, it wants share of the overall coffee category.”
Having illustrated the rapid change our world has undergone, he highlighted the continued acceleration of that change. He suggested a three-pronged approach: identifying the change to lead, deciding upon the role to take, and coming up with the right idea to make that happen.
In conclusion, Naouri reiterated that in today’s rapidly-changing world, agencies have an obligation to tell clients that’s being different isn’t enough.
“If you don’t take the lead, if you don’t lead those changes – then change will lead you,” he said.
This article is part of a collaboration with Campaign Asia-Pacific for our Spikes Asia 2011 coverage