Goafest 2019: Tech has opened doors to asymmetrical competition: Barry Wacksman, R/GA

Barry Wacksman, Vice Chairman & Global Chief Strategy Officer of R/GA, says brands should be more proactive when it comes to disruption 

by Ruhail Amin
Published - Apr 13, 2019 9:03 AM Updated: Apr 13, 2019 9:03 AM
Barry Wacksman

On the second day of Goafest 2019, Barry Wacksman - Vice Chairman & Global Chief Strategy Officer of R/GA spoke about the rise of asymmetrical competition led by technological innovations and how brands need to catch up with the fast-changing consumer preferences.

“Technology has disrupted everything, right from the product and services we use to the way we shop, but what is even more powerful is the way it is emerging to become an asymmetrical competition. Technology has opened doors to asymmetrical competition. Now we are seeing companies like Walmart competing with Amazon or General Motors competing with Tesla.” 

For Wacksman, the most interesting part of this new form of competition is the fact that all challenger brands have risen in less than 10 years and underline the high impact of technological innovations.

He also cautioned brands to be more proactive when it comes to disruption and find out new ways of looking at things. “Disrupt yourself before you are forced to get disrupted,” he said.

For brands to stay relevant and impactful, Wacksman suggested a three-pronged approach - Business Transformation: looking for innovation for future to stay relevant; Experience Transformation: turning the vision into a new experience and Marketing Transformation: finding innovative ways of connecting audiences to brands. 

Wacksman also spoke about the challenges faced by advertisers when it comes to building brands as consumers are becoming increasingly averse to advertising.

According to Wacksman, the need for change in brand communication has never been greater than today. “Whether you are an old economy brand facing disruption or a new economy brand trying to grow, the need for shifting the industry focus from being in the business of making ads to being in the business of driving growth has never been more relevant than today.” 

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