Back to what drives us
19. Mar 2020

Behavior beats attitude - diffferent for Audible

Person steht auf dem Ende eines weißen Pfeils

What exactly should such a purpose process look like? And how do you make the leap from theory to practice? Verena Piltz, Director Brand & Communications at Audible, gives us the answer.

In the last two years, it seems that everyone has dealt with the topic of purpose at some point. Many companies have defined their brand purpose in (more or less) elaborate processes. But what exactly should such a purpose process look like? And how do you make the leap from theory to practice? Verena Piltz, Director Brand & Communications at Audible, provides the answer.

What is Audible's brand purpose and what was the goal behind it?

Radio plays and books have long had a special tradition in Germany: Many of us grew up with Benjamin Blümchen, Die drei ??? or Bibi & Tina and inseparably associate the heroines of their childhood with radio plays. In the USA, things are different. There, Audible has made a major contribution to making audio content popular.

These different listening traditions were the decisive factor for us at Audible to develop a Purpose specifically for the premises of the German-speaking region. Because, where the American market is more about explaining the functional benefits of spoken word to users, the Audible brand Purpose in Germany has been called since 2017:

"We push the boundaries of good entertainment for more listening experiences that enrich you."

The market segment has experienced enormous growth in recent years - thanks primarily to new podcast formats. With the new formats, new competitors have also established themselves. The Purpose helps us as a provider to be more than just an interchangeable platform. It is the common thread that is reflected in content and communication and serves as a strategic guideline for us internally.

How was the process of defining the brand purpose designed? What was particularly important in the process?

At Audible, we work on the basis of five People Principles. The first of them: Be customer obsessed. People are at the center of everything we do. That's why the needs, wishes and motivation of our users were the starting point for the purpose process. This perspective was reflected in interactive workshops with current and potential users.

We then used the findings from the workshops to develop strategic routes for the possible Purpose. These routes were then evaluated in a strategy workshop with the decision-makers. Together with the management, the content leads and marketing, we determined the target direction and the central content components of the Purpose. The guideline here was that the purpose does not represent the status quo, but rather a stretch goal.

What implications has the Purpose had for corporate strategy?

The Brand Purpose has changed the direction of corporate strategy on three dimensions:

From explaining to experiencing: We used to focus heavily on explaining the benefits of audiobooks and the benefits of listening. Now we are moving much more towards letting users experience for themselves what makes them special.

From platform to publisher: The development and production of our own content has become much more important for Audible in the past two years. Our content and marketing team is working with full commitment to produce our own content and make it known. This is an important step for us to ensure relevance instead of risking interchangeability. Audible Studios also recently opened in Berlin. Not only can audio plays and books as well as podcasts be recorded here, we also see it as a meeting place for audio creatives who produce new, inspiring and differentiating listening experiences here for and with us.

From purchase to relationship: Audible's goal is to retain users over the long term. That's why we don't just offer generic recommendations, but are increasingly curating the offering. We want to surprise people, show them new perspectives, and thus build a relationship with them.

How was Purpose introduced and communicated in your department?

The Brand Purpose was communicated internally to all colleagues in the form of a brand manual. It contains the most important information about the Purpose and its significance for daily work: mindshifts, target group & needs, value proposition, identity, and proof points.

In addition, the implications of the Brand Purpose have been addressed and concretized at several marketing events and serve as a guiding element at internal workshops.

How is the Brand Purpose incorporated into brand management and communication?

The most externally visible translation is the brand campaign "I am what I hear." The brand campaign aims to show what happens to listeners when they listen to audiobooks. This campaign has been running successfully for two years on TV, digitally and on social channels in Germany and Austria.

//We at diffferent are proud to have supported Audible in the successful development and implementation of their Brand Purpose.

We are happy to receive project inquiries