Crafting the Future of Branding: Interview with Martin Navrátil, Head of Branded Content

Martin Navrátil, Head of Branded Content at FLO BX, explains his team's role in creating the first touchpoints for customers through digital content. He highlights the strategic approach to content creation, the importance of platform-specific best practices, and the concept of "disruptive consistency" to stand out in a crowded market. He shares insights on recent projects like Burrito Loco and Doritos, emphasising integrating new technologies like AR, VR, and AI in their 2024 plans.

How would you position the Branded content team within the Brand Experience division?

It is the transition between The brand-building team and the Communications team. We are usually the first touchpoint that customers get experience with. While a new brand is created or an existing one is rebranded, we closely codify the first content assets. From our experience, the first touch with the content is within the digital environment following more traditional media types served by our comms team.

This sounds kind of like a „dream scenario“. Are all three parts of your brand experience involved every time?

Not in every case, of course. There are some projects dedicated only to content creation. However, we are working on this scenario as much as possible because, in the end, this creates the best outcomes.

Do you have any examples of this workflow from your recent projects?

I would mention the Burrito Loco. An existing love brand and local fast-food chain. First, we met with the client to discuss repositioning the brand, or more specifically, bringing the original brand DNA back, as it was losing its spirit a bit. While this was being created, we first developed a refresh of the brand assets that were more distinctive and applied them to social media communications. However, we wanted to make the experience consistent everywhere, so we created a new set of menu boards for each branch as a vital asset for each customer who wants to order a Burrito. And for the next year, we aim for another touchpoint of the customer journey and are about to introduce a new brand mascot. Great stuff.

"We are usually creating the first touchpoint that customers get experience with."

Burrito Loco, Communication

Interesting, but how do you choose what content to create on which platform? How do you keep the authenticity?

We honour the correct strategy, so we always start with diagnosis, segmentation, and targeting. In close cooperation with the media agency Mindsquared, we have data about our target group. How do they behave, what media do they consume, and what are their preferences? After this process, we follow the tactical part. If influencers are the correct media type? It could be for one campaign and brand, for the next one, we are creating a radio spot, and for the next one, it could be a longer YouTube video. It depends on the strategy.

What about TikTok? I must ask. Will it kill Facebook?

Haha, clients are asking this a lot as well. Shortly? No, Facebook is not dying; it is still the number one social media platform, and it is evolving a lot as well. On the other hand, TikTok is indeed growing at a breakneck pace. It is also true that as its user base gets older, it is often a good fit to use this platform for communication. One of the good examples is foodora. Based on the target segments, brand positioning, and tone of voice, we chose the TikTok channel as the proper territory to explore.

Ok, I need to install this finally. How do you adapt content for such different content platforms?

We got it. We always follow the best practices of every platform. We shoot videos horizontally and vertically together during production to stay as effective as possible. Again, foodora is a great example. We used influencers as the actors during the shoot, with outcomes that go to #TikTok, #Instagram, and #YouTube. All from one quick production day.

How do you stand out for people's attention in overwhelming content?

Our team is following the idea of disruptive consistency. Firstly, we ensure that brand positioning is applied consistently in every asset created. Secondly, we are trying to stand out within the brand category as much as possible. Otherwise, you will lose in attention economy as you made a good point about the massive amount of content streams that expose people daily. One example? A few months ago, we helped launch Doritos in the Czech market with influencer communication. This brand has a very distinctive set of brand codes. We chose a super creative duo of Paulie Garand and Jakub Děkan from the Czech Hip Hop scene to make some buzz about the launch; trust me, they were disruptive. (smile).

You are mentioning a lot of production here. Do you have external partners, or are you handling them internally?

I am proud that most of our outcomes come from internal production. I would call it a "task team" of young, talented people who can quickly develop the idea, script, location, actors, and all the technical production. They understand the brand, the platform, and the outcome that should be delivered. On the other hand, we are also working with external production companies for more extensive digital campaigns or TVCs.

What will be your focus in 2024?

Recently, we have been getting more consultation tasks. So, we would like to extend this next year even more. Moreover, we are also strengthening the execution part for new technologies like AR and VR. I am surprised you did not ask about AI, as it is a buzzword of 2023. However, we are using generative AI quite a lot in our workflow and have some special projects in the pipeline for 2024 that we are excited about. Most importantly, we stay true to our mission to help brands create the best in class content no matter where.

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