5 Questions With Matt Britton, CEO of Suzy



Up next in our SMWNYC interview series, we sit down with Suzy CEO Matt Britton.


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The lines between “influencer” and “celebrity” are blurring. Internet stars and breaking out of their platforms to infiltrate pop culture beyond social media, and likewise, celebrities are relying on social media as a core tool in their PR arsenal.

This new class of celebrity influencers has changed the way we think of a brand. Brands aren’t just companies anymore; they’re people.

At SMWNYC, Matt Britton, brand expert and CEO of Suzy, will join Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons for a fireside chat to explore the people-as-brand trend. Specifically, they’ll discuss the ways in which an influencer’s personality can be utilized for much more than an endorsement.

We recently caught up with Matt to get a preview of the talk and learn more about his take on the future of marketing.

SMW: You’ve been providing expertise on youth marketing for years. What are some of the key distinctions between millennials and Gen Z?

MB: Instead of just being a part of a strategy, digital and mobile are now the strategy. They’re a core thread into everything, whereas in the past they were something that brands would try to figure out how to leverage. Now, as opposed to channeled, digital and mobile are the intravenous method of how all content and commerce are delivered.

SMW: What is one area of marketing or opportunity within our space that you feel is being neglected by brands today?

MB: Data. Brands need to be using data to help drive everyday decision-making. Too many decisions are made right now on assumptions, guesses and hunches—and in this day and age, there’s no excuse for brands to not use data to drive every critical decision they make.

In this day and age, there’s no excuse for brands to not use data to drive every critical decision they make.” – Matt Britton, CEO of Suzy

SMW: Can you give us a preview of your SMWNYC talk with Rev Run?

MB: Rev Run was one of the first innovators to bring popular brands into entertainment. He’s been there since the beginning—since the song “My Adidas” came out in the 80s with Run DMC—and he’s really seen the progression of celebrity influence on how brands are perceived by the public. During our session, we’ll look at Rev’s journey as an example of how brands and entertainers can coexist successfully, as well as discuss Rev’s rise to becoming an important influencer in the entertainment space.

SMW: In your opinion, what are some brands that have effectively evolved their marketing approach for the next generation of consumers?

MB: I think that it’s deeper than just evolving your marketing approach—you have to evolve your go-to-market strategy. For example, many manufacturers are really struggling to figure out what to do with Amazon right now and the most aggressive ones are realizing that you need a strategy, whether that entails going directly to consumers (i.e. Warby Parker, TOMS Shoes, Away) or coexisting within the Amazon ecosystem. I think it all starts with your business model, not necessarily how you market. I also think too many companies are trying to fix a bad business model with clever marketing, but that, ultimately, never works.

SMW: Which emerging technology do you think holds the most potential for brands in the next few years? How should brands be approach this technology or channel?

MB: Voice is easily the number one because it doesn’t rely on changing consumers’ behavior. They’re already are talking to one another and many are already talking to their devices. Now with the proliferation of Apple’s Home Pod, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home, devices are going to be ubiquitous in the home. The tech is going to just catch on simply due to the fact that it’s easy to use, whereas some of the other new technologies, like VR, require consumers to use a device they haven’t used yet. In other words, VR will present a much harder adoption curve. Given this, I think brands should emphasize creating strategies around voice, including creating apps and skills, as well as understanding their role in the consumer journey.

Explore the age of celebrity influence and learn how to future-proof your business at SMWNYC (April 24-27). Secure your pass today.

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