Gaining over a billion users is no small feat, but a brand’s job doesn’t end there—at Cannes Lions, Tencent shared the four methods it uses for creating experiences that engage and care for its users in a meaningful way.
Tencent has been the top public gaming company in the world five years running and WeChat recently crossed the one billion user threshold—an impressive feat considering that China’s population is approximately 1.4 billion.
Seng Lee Lau, Tencent’s chairman of group marketing and global branding as well as executive vice president and chairman of Tencent Advertising, took the stage at Cannes to say that the brand’s success can be boiled down to four core values.
Lau described the first company value as “The Founder’s Spirit”—recognizing, honoring and embodying the company’s original values as set forth by its creators. The second value, he said, is an open platform mindset. A company needs to recognize its own limitations and coexist with partners to create and nurture an ecosystem for the industry.
A “Digital Level,” Lau said, means helping others within the industry. He used the Internet Plus initiative as an example. Tencent participates in a nationwide effort between the Chinese government and businesses to create faster and more affordable internet access designed to drive a “new industrial revolution.”
The fourth and most important value Tencent embodies is craftsmanship.
“From the days of our inception, user experience has been the fundamental core value of our company,” said Lau. “As we evolve and we realize that the devotion to excellent user experience could only be created by an unwavering commitment to craftsmanship.”
Lau said that marketers embody craftsmanship to win a Cannes Lion award, but it is in danger of becoming a lost art.
“In order to produce an exceptional user experience, that craftsmanship has to be inculcated as a way of life, culture to produce Cannes-ready user experience almost every day,” he said, adding that loyalty is the ultimate test for a brand.
Lau explained that a “good” experience satisfies individual demand while an “exceptional” experience resonates with human nature. Humans want to share experiences to feel like they belong but they want to be independent and an individual at the same time.
Tencent’s popular photo editing and sharing app, Tiantian P-Tu (天天P图) offers filters and themes that resonate with Chinese residents in an individual way such as celebrating holidays, heroes of the past or each person’s childhood.
The app uses AI and facial recognition to use common themes while allowing each user to feel independent. Tiantian P-Tu went viral in recent months and is currently seeking recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records.
While technology is buzzworthy, it can always be replicated. That’s why Lau says that brands need to create an “interplay of technology and culture” that leads to an exceptional experience. This extends to making the world a better place.
“In today’s world, it’s not enough to confine ourselves in the business of providing good products,” said Lau. “Instead, companies must play a broader and more constructive role in a society over the long term.”