In this issue, we interviewed Jon Tipple, Global Chief Strategic Officer of FutureBrand, and thanked Sophie, General Manager of FutureBrand China, for her translation. Rologo, together with FutureBrand Global Chief Strategic Officer Jon and Sophie, China’s general manager, discussed what potential brands would look like in the future.
Chief Strategy Officer, Worldwide 全球首席战略官
工作经验：在2012年加入未来品牌之前，他曾经任职于Saatchi&Saatchi、FCB、Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe(rkcr/y&R)和麦肯。Jon领导了许多区域性和全球性的品牌策略、体验设计和创新项目，覆盖快消品、金融、科技、零售、交通、体育和媒体等行业。
他的品牌经验包括：伦敦奥运会、红牛、微软、雀巢、达能、维珍、 AB InBev, Bacardi和英国广播公司。
Jon在创意行业获得的奖项包括：D&AD Yellow Pencil, EPICA Effectiveness Agency of the Year and Grand Prix, IPA Effectiveness and the APG Grand Prix。
Jon is a brand strategist with international experience across a variety of creative businesses. He joined the Ogilvy & Mather graduate scheme from university and has worked with some of the world’s leading brands and businesses to drive growth through direct marketing, advertising, innovation and brand experience design.
Prior to joining FutureBrand in 2012, his agency experience included Saatchi & Saatchi, FCB, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe (RKCR/Y&R) and McCann. His brand experience includes the London Olympic Games, Red Bull, Microsoft, Nestle, Danone, Virgin, AB InBev, Bacardi and the BBC and his creative industry awards include a D&AD Yellow Pencil, EPICA Effectiveness Agency of the Year and Grand Prix, IPA Effectiveness and the APG Grand Prix.
Jon is responsible for brand strategy, business development and FutureBrand’s global methodology at FutureBrand. He is passionate about bringing ideas to the world’s most important brands and businesses that can help them redefine their industries/categories.
We call ourselves creative future company. And the reason for that is because of our people. We have offices in some of the most exciting cities in the world, because that’s where great talent exists, not because we need to have a network, We have business, we have offices in cities where the talent lives, where young, smart, exciting, interesting people live. And therefore we want to be where they are.
Can you introduce the 2018 Future Index Report ?
J: FutureBrand全球发布了《2018未来品牌指数》报告，并公布了最具未来发展潜力的世界100强品牌，该报告平均两年发布一次（《2020年未来品牌指数》报告很快将会发布）。此指数对普华永道全球100强 （全球市值最大的100家公司）按照品牌感知力重新排序。我们认为好的业务和品牌是指那些能够将品牌意义和对外传递的品牌体验保持一致并做很好结合的品牌。在这个品牌榜单里面，排名第一的是迪士尼，第二名是茅台，这两个品牌在这方面做得非常成功。像迪士尼不仅拥有很好的品牌意义，还有很好的品牌体验。迪士尼提供的体验完全是基于品牌的目的和意义。茅台也是一样，在全球范围内人们都能够感受到良好的体验与品牌承诺的结合。
J: Futurebrand global has released the 2018 FBI report and the world’s top 100 brands with the most potential for future development, which is released once every two years on average(<2020 FBI> report will be released soon). The FutureBrand Index is a global perception study of the PwC Global Top 100 Companies by market capitalization.
We believe that good business and brands mean that brand purpose is consistent with the brand experience of external transmission, and the two can achieve a good combination of brands. In this index report, the first is Disney and the second is Maotai. These two brands have made great success in this respect. For example, Disney not only has a successful brand purpose, but also has a good experience. The experience Disney offers is entirely based on the purpose and meaning of the brand. The same is true for Maotai. People all over the world can feel connection between good experience and brand commitment. The same is true for Maotai. People all over the world.
FutureBrand Global Office Collaboration Model?
J: Futurebrand’s current global focus is on three markets, North America, Europe and greater China. Our working mode is to give customers demand as the starting point. For example, for a project set up in China, if the customer wants a global team, or it has a global business vision, we will select the most suitable talents around the world to form a team. If this project is based on the Chinese office, people from other countries around the world need to fully support us, rather than say that they come from foreign headquarters and directly tell the Chinese office what you need to do. Instead, we will tell him how to do it and support us according to our requirements. For example, the “Luye life sciences” project has established a good relationship with customers in China, and our Australian team and London team have also joined in to support project. The second case is MiSuMI, a Japanese enterprise, but we serve the Chinese market. At that time, the project was also participated by designers from London and another country. The third project is the Hong Kong “AFC” project, which is also a global office collaborative office, including Australia, China and London together to serve customers.
What is the relationship between brand strategy and brand design implementation in FutureBrand project implementation?
J: The first thing to know is that no organization, no clients pays you to turn up. he can’t turn up knowing nothing these days.
So all of our projects usually start with the hypothesis. We start with an idea about where we think the answer is going to be. And then, but we then seek to explore the hypothesis through a series of inquiries relating to the history of the organization, the current markets, the competitive situation, we call it insights. And then we look at foresight. Where is the future of the category? Where is the future of adjacent categories? And then we bring that together into a vision, a creative vision that everyone in the organization can be inspired by. And then we build design, architecture and complete go-to-market solutions based on that piece of thinking.
That’s hypothesis, inquiry, recommendation, execution, kind of things.
And we try to have fun because it’s quite exciting to see a new future to help client. If we say we unlock the future, the whole experience should feel quite exciting and quite engaging and quite fun and we try to have fun.
What kind of brands can be called future-proof brands?
J: Any brands, by which I mean product brands, corporate brands, service brand, city destination brands can be described as having an exciting future and being a future brand. The future-proof brands are the ones that are very focused on connecting that purpose with their experiences. So, for example, we are soon to launch, every other year, we do the future brand index of companies. This year we’re doing the country index to find the most exciting countries this year. Countries like Japan, Norway, Germany are seen to be countries having very clear focus of why they exist. And when you experience that country, it feels in line with that purpose. You know, it’s just an example, lots of things can be brands, but not every brand can be a future brand because not every brand lives as a connection between the purpose and experience. So, we would like to say, the countries, the companies, the services, those types of brands, that are delivering on that have exciting futures.
Just now you have been emphasizing the brand experience. Can you introduce the brand experience?
And that’s true for both B2B brands and B2C brands, it doesn’t matter what type of brands you are, whether you are delivering experience through employees or through stakeholder investors or through customers or through end user consumers. It’s how you make them feel, what they think about you as a brand when they use or engaged by you, or when they work for you. And it’s everything, every interaction with the brand, it’s how the brand comes to life. So when I talk about experience, I mean every behavior, every interaction that people have with the brands when they deliver on the promise of the brands. And if some of those are off, then the brand will feel off. So if I set an amazing hotel, every experience consumer has in the hotel has to deliver on that promise. So it’s always about that. But it’s an example.
When helping customers with their experience, will they help customers with the supervision of the whole brand?
Sometimes. We don’t mean to say we deliver every experience. But we hope to provide clients with the blue print, the plan that allows them to implement the plan and to evaluate the experiences they create against the brand plan. We do service design, experience design, packaging design, environments design. We don’t do, for example, advertising. In those situations we would want to make sure what the client do is aligned with the brand purpose and experiences we defined.
What stage do you think China’s brand development is at?
J: Once again, in our 2018 FutureBrand report, Chinese enterprises have very strong Chinese brands in that report, such as Moutai, industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Tencent, China Life Insurance, Ping An, etc. I believe that the future will be a period when Chinese and American brands will dominate and occupy top 10. What’s not so clear is how many will be Chinese, and how many will be American, and who’s gonna be at the top of the top ten, and who’s going to be in the middle and the bottom. But Chinese companies are set to be very, very powerful in the future and I think that they can be an incredible force for good. I think that Chinese brands are very ambitious and excited about having a presence in the world in a positive way. And in many ways, I see Chinese brands being more open to the world than American ones right now. And I think that’s very exciting.
When people mention that it is made in China or a brand in China, the impression of China is not as good as some Chinese enterprise brands. In our national brand list we released, the China ranking is not so good. I think that there is work to be done to change people’s global perceptions of China, which will take a little bit longer, but I think the companies can play a big role.
How should traditional enterprises embrace the Internet?
J: I think what has happened so far is that traditional companies have been able to use data and automation where they’ve been able to implement data in a way that’s incredibly easy, but they haven’t actually been able to embed it in the heart of their business. And that’s the opportunity. The example I would point you towards is not a Chinese example, but there’s some of the traditional European brands, some even old companies, like, the Royal Mail in the UK has been very, very good acts in embracing new technology, embracing new audiences with new digital platforms.We’ve been working with the Royal Mail to move them from being a company that’s associated with delivering post, old school letters, paper to an organization that stands for small businesses and medium-sized businesses, and allowing them to use Royal Mail platforms to do better, smarter business and delivery. I think some airlines have been quite good at moving from being traditional companies, traditionalbusinesses to embracing technology and using phones to allow people to manage their journey to check-in, to get updates to, and I think that’s just been smart integration of technology, but I still think we’re at the very beginning of what can happen. And when you come to this part of the world,you see the Wechat is integrated not just into everyday life, but is integrated into the way we interact with businesses, interact with companies. I think that begins to give a hint of where we’re going. When I came here(the hotel Jon stays), over there, this chief manager, when she said “if you need anything, just call me”. I thought she might call the desk, but she means connecting on Wechat, and we would never do that before. So it shows how technology like Wechat is becoming and facilitating traditional businesses like hotels with traditional people like hotel guests.
For projects of the same industry in different countries, what are the differences in the service process:
J: I think quite often, sometimes the differences are exaggerated.What if the obvious differences, though there are differences, and one of the obvious ones is that sheer size of China and the speed with which China is changing from the past to the future. And I think that in some instances, that pace and the size of China makes it especially challenging.There’s also a very highly developed culture here and the normality of social cohesion: how would you say, how you behave, how you operate, how you talk, the way companies have layers. I think that exists in the world. But it seems to be really quite conservative here in some ways. And I think in order to bring organizational change to companies in this part of the world, you have to be especially attuned not just to the business problem or the brand problem, but you have to really understand the people, and the customs, and the conventions. It’s one of those things that’s especially different, but all of those things exist everywhere in the world and it’s just a question of seeing China somewhere different but not difficult. It’s just different and you have to learn and listen.
We will soon be working with the Chinese airline and we have a lot of experience with airlines. And it seems to me when it comes to the airline industry, for example, the challenges are the same, the industry is global. The challenges you face when you bring change to traditional and established airlines is the same. It, in some extent, just depends on what industry you’re in. But I think fundamentally there will be a lot more commonality than difference.
When FutureBrand and customers disagree, how does FutureBrand make decisions?
J: I think the serious answer is that one of the most under values in this day and age globally is the ability to compromise. We’ll always firstly try and understand the client’s perspective. And we have to balance understanding what they believe and what they feel with what we, in our experience, think is the right direction, but also be prepared to compromise. What we say is we have strong opinions, but we hold them lightly.
It’s about punching, It’s about partnership. And It’s about being able to listen to each other and have strong opinion and hold them, hold those opinions in a way that we can find the best way forward. So be ready to compromise, but also be ready to have your good opinions.
When FutureBrand recruits new people, it usually chooses personality or professionalism?
J: When it comes to hiring people, we look for people who are excited by what’s going on in the world, who can bring the outside inside and turn those into inspiring visions, inspiring ideas. I think we are quite a visual company and we like to make ideas tangible.
The first thing when we think about recruitments and grow the company, which is one of the most important things that we do, we really believe in diversity. We believe that diversity fuels creativity. So creative activities of strategy, commercial activities, design come from having diverse people. That’s the first most important thing.
And as a consequence, that is, it means that attitude and ability are both important, but by far and away, attitudes and empathy and personality are probably the more important thing that we look for, because we can always train and coach ability. But of course we need both.
And our dream is to have a company, a really diverse company of talent, of nationality, of all different types of people working together in new, exciting ways with clients. Because anyway, in order to be creative, it takes all sorts of different people.
Can you talk about your hobbies? What drive you working in this field so many years?
J:I love France and I have a house in France and I like spending time in France and learning French culture and I love cycling in France. The most famous race in the world is the Tour de France, which is a cycling tour around France. It will start very soon, come past our house in France. So it’s my two passions, France and cycling and they come together.
I’ll talk about why I survive this industry so long time.
With regard to work, I guess it’s because I always have new challenges and always keep changing my role. Because I originally started in account management and I originally started in direct marketing, and then I moved to advertising and then I would just move companies, new challenges, and now in branding, and brand design, new people, new challenges, see the worlds. I think that makes your career exciting. You have to fill your head with interesting things or else. I hate routine. I hate the same thing over again, so keep changing.
And meeting new people all the time, getting to meeting people again, like Sophie, we’ve known each other now for two or three years. But now, you know, we spend time and it’s kind of fun. And you just meet new people all the time and that keeps life fresh.
And I have to try to learn Chinese, try to learn the language.