'It's about more than just helping a brand. You have to enable people to help people, too': How to draft in foot soldiers for a city-wide PEER ARMY

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In the latest instalment of our Featured Innovators series - where we catch up with some of the organizations that have appeared in our free Global Trend Briefings - we spoke to Daniel Sytsma, the Creative Director at Achtung, about his work on KLM's Layover with a Local campaign. The innovation was included in our PEER ARMIES briefing, a trend that that explores how brands can utilize networks of peers to create ultra-convenient new services, offer more authentic experiences, allow new kinds of product reviews, and more.

Daniel Sytsma

What was the inspiration behind Layover with a Local?

KLM’s business is mostly dependent on transfer flights. 70% of their customers have a layover in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, but they don’t get to see anything of the city while it’s only a 15 minute train ride away.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced while both developing the idea and establishing yourselves within the market?

Layover with a Local is not a tough sell to travellers who have 6+ hours waiting time at the airport. The challenge was to find motivated locals that were interested in meeting someone from abroad. We ran a prelaunch recruitment campaign that specifically targeted language students, expats and KLM fans on Facebook. This got us a huge group of locals that were ready to meet up.

What is your top tip to other professionals who seek to better understand, and stay ahead of, consumers’ changing expectations?

Start understanding people's needs and see what solution a brand can offer - not the other way around.

You’re featured in our briefing covering PEER ARMIES. Where do you see this strand of consumer behavior and expectation heading?

I think there’s still a huge opportunity for brands in this domain. I think it’s interesting if people can enable people to help each other, as opposed to just helping a brand.

What was your favorite recent innovation and why?

I just checked out the product design winners from Cannes and there I saw these headphones that allow you to choose what outside sounds you want filtered through. They use noise-cancelling techniques and a companion smartphone app to give you control over what you want to hear from outside. You can tune in to conversations or shut them out if you like. Crazy, right?

Here Plus headphones - what consumer trend would these fit under?

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