To innovate is to take a look elsewhere and come back. Why not consider a brand as a singer and a song as a product? As soon as the idea is floated, it doesn’t take long to see Spotify as a sort of supermarket for music.

To find its path to profitability, Spotify recently redefined its rules and practices. This is also a concern for brands and retailers. The platform took a look at TikTok, that in just a few years has become the benchmark in terms of customer proximity. Spotify now boasts a Discovery feature that uses AI to highlight new creators and especially their video content. Spotify is also planning to add features designed to increase income for creators, such as those enabling them to inform their audiences of the locations and dates of their forthcoming concerts, or to sell their merchandise. All these changes should enable Spotify to take on a new, indispensable community dimension in order to become a real social media, and thus move away from its sole function as a music distributor.

There was a time when brands gathered in brainstorming sessions, with the dream of becoming the Twingo (“it’s up to you to invent the life that goes with it”) or the iPhone (a technological Swiss army knife) of their market. Today, they want to be the TikTok. Each era generates its own expectations and imaginations. A brand wishing to “tiktokify” must multiply tutorials, partnerships and interactions on social media to reinforce customer commitment and create a sense of community. It also needs to develop new offers with its communities and organize “battles” of all kinds among members to foster participation and spread its values and commitments. It can even inform them of the launch of new products under its banner… or not, in order to display a spirit of helpfulness and goodwill that won’t do it any harm.

Traditionally, a brand was defined by its history and the products and services it was able to provide. Today, it’s also defined by the strong bond it forges with its buyers. And once these have been converted into fans, everything the brand offers becomes desirable.

So What ?

Brands once had their territories, then their universes. Now they have their communities, which help them differentiate and grow. The link has replaced the place.

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