Mover to agitator and back: Why brands are shifting position in the global marketplace

Samsung, for example, has traditionally been known as a mover or agitator, but last year, it maneuvered into a defender role during the crisis involving its smartphones.

CANNES, FRANCE: The market position of brands such as Samsung and KFC tend to be fluid, shifting from mover to agitator to defender and back again, executives at those companies said Tuesday at Cannes.

Samsung, for example, has traditionally been known as a mover or agitator, but last year, it maneuvered into a defender role during the crisis involving its smartphones, said Zach Overton, VP of customer experience and GM of Samsung 837 at Samsung Electronics America. He and other executives spoke at the Brands in Motion: Unlocking the Equation panel, held Tuesday morning in the PRWeek cabana at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

"The lifecycle of a brand can be really important," added Jennelle Tilling, former global CMO at KFC.

For example, the fast-food chain is a defender in the U.S. market, but in France and Brazil, the company is much more of an agitator. Those differences, along with the move toward content creation, has turned marketers into publishers.

"It’s all about storytelling," she said.

The goal, added Melissa Waggener Zorkin, CEO and cofounder of WE Communications, is to "move people to do something different" and incorporating data-driven insights into a marketer’s overall strategy.

"It’s not about the big data question," she said. "Creativity is finding the small data, the face in the faceless."

This story was updated on June 21 to correct Overton's title.

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