Fifth generation brand opportunities

5G will change your world!

The introduction of 5G will be the biggest single opportunity—and challenge—for brands in 2020.

To date, much of the anticipation has focused on faster download speeds, but the power of 5G will transform our world in far more ways. Greater connectivity, truly immersive experiences and seamless interactions that are immediate and personal. The impact is only just being imagined and brands need to get to grips with the new rules of a 5G world.

Science fiction becomes science fact

Third generation cellular network technology (aka 3G) brought us mobile internet. 4G gave us mobile broadband allowing video and audio streaming, and the first possibilities of the Internet of Things. That concept is set to explode when 5G is fully rolled out across the world.

Connected apps and devices

Picture this: you’re dropped off at home in your app-hailed taxi. Your front door opens automatically as you approach, and the hall light switches on at the same time. Knowing your daily routine, the central heating is already on. You switch on the oven with your voice, and ask the smart home assistant to find a recipe based on what’s in your fridge. This is what true connectivity and seamless interaction looks like.

Now think about all the brand touchpoints in those few minutes, from the taxi to the smart lightbulbs, the energy provider and recipe book. If any of these were to drop out, the holistic, seamless experience ends—and 5G consumers won’t accept this in their frictionless journey.

Some sectors are set to be truly revolutionized by the VR and AR opportunities made possible through 5G. Take buying a new car. Today, most manufacturers offer a configurator that lets you change the color or pick different tires and rims. With 5G, your VR headset or AR-enabling device will allow you to get behind the wheel, see your house in the rear-view mirror and take the car for a test drive. These are new experiences that businesses need to consider and ensure work technically, but also work from a brand point of view. That test drive should feel different when it’s with Volvo or Vauxhall, Ford or Ferrari. Differentiation remains integral.

This is exciting, of course. But VR and AR are only the low hanging fruit in new tech possibilities. We can expect better preventative and personalized healthcare through wearable devices. We will see ‘telehealth’ solutions, with connected apps and devices providing accurate diagnoses from the comfort of your own home. The limits are set only by our imaginations.

Landor’s brand take-outs:

With great power comes great responsibility. So, here are our pro tips for achieving supremacy with the power of 5G in 2020:

1. Balance inclusivity and exclusivity

The roll out of 5G will not be universal and metropolitan places like New York City may well see the benefits before other, more rural areas. Brand managers need to ensure that, where required, the experience works for those still on 4G or even 3G connectivity too.

2. Give consumers truly immersive experiences through the brand lens

Think about sound and vision, voice-enabled tech and multi-screen behavior, and how it all comes together in a seamless experience. And ensure that the experience you deliver is unique and true to your brand. Differentiation will become even more important in the 5G-verse of possibilities.

3. Brands will need to connect with brands, as well as consumers

This is not just about consumers connecting to devices. It’s also about brands connecting with other brands. When a customer asks its smart home speaker to stock up the fridge, every FMCG brand will want to be first pick. When you order a pizza, will Alexa choose Dominos or the local pizza joint? In a more connected world, these relationships and interfaces will become ever more important.