Explore What’s Possible With the Braze 427° Innovation Lab
You probably know about the eternal conflict between art and commerce—that is, the struggle to create inspired masterpieces that actually make money. The same conversation takes place in marketing, but with a slightly different twist: Creativity versus technology. Does tech get in the way of creative inspiration, or does it accelerate creativity and make it soar?
At Braze, we’re definitely in the latter camp. To help connect marketing creatives to technical teams, we’re excited to launch the 427° Innovation Lab, first debuted at Forge 22, the Braze annual customer conference. Through in-person, virtual, and hybrid Brazestorms, the lab is bringing different disciplines together to foster more meaning and purpose in our communities.
We know you’re wondering: What’s up with the name? The “427” ties back to 427° degrees, the melting point of metal used in the brazing process (see the connection?), allowing dissimilar materials to create a strong and permanent bond. We extended this idea to building unbreakable bonds with customers by fusing data, creativity, and technology.
Why technology and creativity should be friends, not frenemies
Why launch a multidisciplinary lab, and why is Braze doing this now? Sure, we’re a technology company, but we’re also passionate about helping brands use tech to amplify and accelerate their creative ideas.
As for why we’re launching right now: Post-pandemic, it’s not enough for brands to be digital. Going digital is no longer disruptive or a point of difference. The problem many brands face is that while revenue is growing, so are costs, which means profits are elusive even for many of the best-known brands.
There’s another trend that makes the 427° Innovation Lab timely: The supposed tension between short-term campaigns that drive sales and long-term campaigns that drive brand reputation. We think the tension between these approaches doesn’t actually exist. Sales activation and brand campaigns should complement each other, instead of competing for resources.
With a “sweet spot” emerging between the two approaches, the time is right for a creative renaissance for brands: Today’s consumers are engaging on everything from six-second TikToks to four-hour YouTube videos.
Brainstorming? Start with Megadeck
Along with the 427° Innovation Lab, we’re launching “Melting Points: Where Creativity Meets Technology,” an exploration of what’s possible when you take a creative approach to customer engagement. Melting Points offers four creative launchpads for our customers: Perfecting Personalization, Gamification, Omnichannel = Omniverse, and Community. The idea is to spark new, unexpected ways to deliver your brand’s promise to customers. We leverage Braze category expertise and use it to launch cross-category ideas and prompt more innovation across categories. For example, travel brands shouldn’t be limited to getting inspired only by campaigns in that industry; instead, travel marketers could tap into creative ideas that have worked for online dating services and use them for new campaigns.
These creative launchpads will encourage cross-pollination of ideas and campaigns, using technology and data to boost success. The launchpads will also foster the development of “digital campfires”—that is, smaller, private, interactive online communities where users can build authentic friendships based on shared beliefs and interests.
Build your brand for the long term
Speaking of community, we invite our creative friends and their big ideas to join us in the lab, share their moonshots, and feed off the creative heat everyone generates (something close to 427° degrees, we hope!). As a first step, download Melting Points to see what your creative colleagues have been spinning up.
Sharon Panelo is a Senior Director, Strategic Consulting at Braze.