The bank created a website, which is more like a platform tool where you can learn a lot on changes that disrupted our way to live. The link with a bank ? Just the baseline : « the bank of a changing world« . I’ll develop that part later.
The organisation of the website is made around 3 features :
- the topic
- the tiles
- the filters
Indeed, the website opened with only one theme : the city. It is a huge subject and they could collect lots of information. For each theme, you have various facts (a lot) or questions which can be filtered with 3 items : big, fun and interactive. Some of the facts are very old and some of them date from yesterday but are about to change the world. You can also find some statistics about people on the platform : some tiles are results to questions opened to indivuals.
It is a nearly infinite source of inspiration. Each fact is illustrated with a small image. All the website has its own visual identity and is pleasant to surf on.
Example of facts you can find on the platform :
- Originally New York taxis were mainly painted red and green. It wasn’t until 1915 that they were painted yellow to be more recognizable at a distance.
- In 2013, only 6% of tourists sent postcards, against 24% who sent holiday news to friends and family on Facebook.
- The first e-commerce transaction is reported to have taken place in 1971 or 1972 when students at Stanford bought an unknown amount of outlawed stuffs from students at MIT.
Why LIVING THE CHANGE is a good brand content
Brand content, a discipline brands cannot escape
The brand content is now inescapable for any brand. It is hard nowadays to keep your position on the market just by selling your products and talking about them. Brands have to talk about their values, what they stand for. I already talked about that but it is important to keep it in mind. Furthermore, the data trend prevails. People want information to be clear, they want to have access to data. More, companies use data to know better their customer. We talk about open or big data. In brief, data is ruling the world and the platform living the change is totally into this wave : facts and data aliment the brand content strategy. It is not about the company or consumers here but it is part of the data trend !
From 2 or 3 years, you can see now lots of brand starting to create all sorts of content : photos, videos, magazines and a lot of events. The kind of content doesn’t really matter. Brands pick those which fit the most their image and objectives. You can have huge strategies on instagram only or editorial only strategies. Still, it has to be connected with the brand universe and what it defends. It always has to be consistent !
This is what decided to do BNB Paribas. It is unnatural for a bank to speak of something else than banking, economy or rent. Bnb Paribas took into account its baseline which is « the bank for a changing world« . Apart from banking innovation and digitalisation, being the bank for a changing world means to be aware of all changes of their environment : from consumption to fashion. Every sector can affect your activity.
That’s why the « living the change » platform is totally adequate for this purpose. Creating content about progress and innovation in all sort of fields is a good way to enhance BNP Paribas expertise, to show their decisions are made regarding to this changes and more importantly, to give their clients a content they’ll be interested in. And not any content, a substantial and reliable one.
A role in the society
We can also think of content branding as a way to take back companies societal role. Indeed, a long time ago, companies had a huge role in the city by building infrastructures for their employees, by taking part in cities decisions. By bringing employment they could change a city’s face. Now, with the multiplication of companies all around the world, it is hard to be listened to, into the cacophony. Now, to exist, brands have to raise their voice, not by shouting or bombarding with ads but by giving meaning to their actions and engage themselves into causes. Lots of brands choose humanitarian work or protection of the environment but it is too easy. Don’t misenderstand me. It is great and all but it is so common that it is tricky to know if it’s done for real values or just to give a good image.
For BNB Paribas, the cause may be less praiseworthy but it is useful anyway. Every topic has been choosen carefully, as well as all facts described. You can learn a lot and be inspired by other countries like old ideas we forgot. The content created serve the baseline of the brand and can be extended again and again. It is nearly endless because there is always new innovations and a lot of old ones we never heard about. And it is an idea they will be able to develop later.
Moreover, it is a way to enhance employees work. Actually, part of the information you can find on living the change comes from the BNP Paribas experts. Good for them and good for the company which can show the talents it attracts. It is a double winning strategy : content towards individuals and employer brand strategy towards potential candidates. Another good point is to show how a banking establishment can be out of its usual strictness and complexity.
Living the change as part of a real strategy didn’t come alone. There is a whole marketing plan standing behind it.
Launch of living the change
First, a presentation video was released. You could see a brief sample of what would be found on the platform. Talking about videos, introducing its third topic, living the chang and BNP Paribas decided to create a mini film promoting every chapter of the consumption topic.
Other element, a launch event night. Of course, the brand invited media (journalists and blogger) to a launch event. What we should remember is the invitation which was displayed with a riddle part puzzle, part rebus. Sadly, you didn’t have to solve it to find the place of the meeting. It would have been a good way to engage journalists. Indeed, if you are able to solve the mystery, you’re proud and want to meet the brand that made you feel that way. But we can understand too that most of media people don’t have time for this and just go there to write a short article (and to have a good time, let’s face it)…
Anyway, the plan includes a mini game too. Not really funny, you still can find yourself playing for long. Actually, it’s a sort of quizz. You have to read some facts (which you can find on the tiles of living the change) and tell if they’re old or not. You may think you’ll be bored within 5 questions but it’s a trick. As you find in some TV shows, you have to give 10 good answers consecutively to win the game. That’s why this game turn you into an addict. You answer right, and right and right, you think you’re gonna win and…. you answer wrong ! so bad !! Let’s forget it 😉
After the launch
In a real time point of view and to reach a target a bit younger, the brand tried the snapchat mobile app. They created a funny press release and I invite you to watch the video to discover it. I already told you about advantages for brands to advertise on Tinder or Instagram, Snapchat is on the same level, except that once you’ve seen the video (or sort of power point), you can’t see it again and for all other users, there is a limited time to watch it. But it is a good idea. It can create a teasing desire, playing on the « fear of missing out » (FOMO) whose young people suffer 😉
A good point for the marketing plan is the teasing. At the launch of the platform, the topic was the city. 2 weeks after, the communications topic opened and then, a bit later, the consumption topic. It is a teasing mechanism. You freely discover a topic but you won’t forget about the platform because it is always expanding and enriching by new facts and topics.
2 other elements : you can subscribe to the newsletter (just at the bottom of the page) which can show you some quirky facts and the mobile version of the website, developped in fully HTML5, totally responsive.
What’s next ?
We don’t know how many topics have been choosen to be developped but there is more to come. The next will be the jobs and more, the experience of it. How did our way to work changed over the centuries and the last few decades ? Let’s wait a bit to discover it.
Another change is the opening contribution to consumers via this email firstname.lastname@example.org. People can now send their ideas of facts they think should appear on the platform.
What we think about Living the change
Playful, funny and interesting
Living the change is an interactive platform. You think you’re going to spend 10 mintues there but find yourself staying an hour. There’s a lot of facts to discover. Some you may know about, some you had no idea.
It is a playful website, understandable for everybody and which generalize technology, progress and evolution. The best point is surfing on living the change gives you the desire to believe in the future.
Unnegligeable, the aesthetic of Guillaume Kurkdjian‘s illustrations puts the plaform in a design area. It is very pleasant to see all the facts illustrated that way. It isn’t only a useful website but a beautiful one, a good looking one !
What surprised me was the Documentary sources and methodology page. Indeed, if you really are interested in one subject, you can find the source of the information and get more about it. It’s a good idea to let everybody access it.
But living the change could go further
With living the change, you can learn a lot about what’s happening around the world but it would have been great to filter the facts by country. We could see which country or continent is more active talking about innovations. Even more nowadays, when you’re looking for inspiration, opening our mind to a new culture and a new way of thinking is the thing we need.
One thing is missing : we can read a lot of facts about what’s happening now, some innovations we don’t know but some facts or a topic turned towards the future and what could be our life within 50 or 100 years would be astonishing. Maybe a topic about future including all other topics would be perfect : future of the city, future of communications, future of the consumption, future of our way to work…
Last reproach, the contribution and participation section is bit ignored. Yes, you can send your ideas to the email email@example.com but there is no conversation possible around some facts that surprised you for example. You can share the facts on social media, answer some questions and like some facts but on the platform itself, there’s nothing to do, nothing help building the world for tomorrow. We may imagine a way to make people participate. Why not an illustration conquest over each topic, a story conquest about the ideal city of 3000… There’s a lot to do with this brand content platform, even more when you realise the number of facts presented here.
As always when we analyse a strategy, the brand has a very good idea but doesn’t go far enough. Living the change is a great opportunity for BNP Paribas to place itself as a referent source in the innovation sector (as they try to make it understandable) and not only banking one. They could develop a storytelling strategy around it and find an infinite content source ! Let’s wait a bit and see what they will do next.