Our thinking

Share of life®  
Weave your brand into the daily lives of your customers.

Traditional business models have shifted, brands need to adopt to a 'one-with-one' marketing model.

The interconnection between brand & customer is Share of Life®.

We are in the midst of a marketing evolution that is moving much faster than most are aware. At one time, marketing was about contact. Then it became about engagement. Now it’s about inhabiting your customer’s world.

Stan Rapp was the godfather of one-to-one direct marketing. As the co-founder of legendary agency Rapp Collins Worldwide (now RAPP), he practically invented one-to-one direct marketing.  Sebastian Jespersen’s career developed in the age of engagement. He co-founded the global digital media agency, Vertic. Together they are redefining the way customers are created, nurtured and grown. In order to function in today’s marketplace, brands must change their focus from trying to trigger an immediate sale to understanding the consumer’s lifestyle and routines. This will not only change how they market, but how they do business, including what they offer, where they sell and how they deliver

The Share of Life® concept presents a new set of imperatives for dealing with this life-changing moment. Embedding your brand into the customer’s new mode of existence – what we describe as gaining Share of Life® – is the key to success going forward.

The entangled digital customer relationship will define the future of marketing.”

James McQuivy, Principal at Forrester

The 3 pillars of
Share of  Life®.

Achieve Zero Degrees of Separation.

One element of the journey is to achieve Zero Degrees of Separation by closing the gap between brand and consumer.

Simple demographics are no longer enough in today’s complex marketing environment. Market researchers and consumer experts are now delivering more than just numbers. They are analyzing giant data sets to provide information that can be acted upon by all divisions of a company that work with customers and prospects, including behavior patterns, product usage and trend forecasting.

They are leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in order to provide critical insights and opportunities.  The brands that are winning are those that achieve zero degrees of separation with a customer by essentially incorporating the brand into the person’s lifestyle and daily routine without being perceived as intrusive. Marketers need to seek more granular insights into the needs and pains of their consumers to close the gap from arms-length to zero degrees. Doing so will uncover new areas where brand messaging can yield a higher degree of resonance.

From One-to-One to One-with-One.

The ‘One-to-One’ direct marketing strategy has evolved into the ‘One-with-One’ entangled marketing relationship.

The word “to” implied that there had to be opposing sides. There are no need for opponents in marketing. When a brand and a customer become friends, the relationship takes off, and will often endure to the satisfaction of both. The brand’s insights into the customer’s desires fuels this evolution. A “data companionship” with both the consumer and the brand only serves to strengthen the relationship and keep it relevant over time.

Under Armour is betting on the notion that the right hardware, combined with large data sets enhanced by machine learning and powerful motivational tools can enhance their customers’ lives and the company’s bottom line. Under Armour sells athletic gear. They provide an app free of charge called Record that customers can use to track their daily fitness routines and goals. User data gleaned from the app is used to develop precise recommendations for individual consumers. They are creating products and services with the consumer, not just for the consumer. The company can spot trends as they unfold and respond to market demands in real time. By becoming entangled in their lives, they’ve proven that everyday athletes want to know more about the brand as well as do more with it. In today’s world, there must be a stickiness in the brand-to-consumer relationship. They cannot be on opposing sides.

A great example is the company’s new effort called Make Athletes Better. The brand has launched a new line of clothing that literally turns human performance into big data. In fact, Under Armour is no longer just a manufacturer of high-quality sporting clothes, but has transformed into a high-tech fitness partner enhancing your life and workout experiences.

Entanglement.

The third element needed to gain Share of Life® is for brand and customer to become an entangled pair, a term Jespersen and Rapp borrowed from the world of quantum mechanics. In other words, whatever effects one, effects the other. Both the brand and customer emerge as winners in the relationship.

In ‘One-to-One’ marketing, brands and customers had separate definitions of success, where brands would get paid and customers would get a product. This antiquated definition of marketing is no longer the goal of the relationship. Instead, both sides are interested in gaining value and satisfaction, so that brands are rewarded with higher levels of customer loyalty while customers are provided with excellent goods and services.

The more you entangle people through rewarding, value-adding experiences, the greater share you will receive of that person’s life.

This entanglement will only create further growth for a brand as it evolves into other aspects of a customer’s daily existence. Just like the five digital leaders we’ve cited, a company should not stop at filling one need, but should look to fill other needs that a person may have on a routine basis. When a brand can take part in solving persistent problems of a customer, the entanglement only becomes stronger and has the potential to go on for future generations.

How Dropbox gained Share of Life® with their customers.

When the crisis hit, businesses had to solve for a distributed workforce. Learn how Share of Life® helped Dropbox insert their brand into the customer’s workday and transform the way we work.

View case

Meet the authors.

Stan Rapp,

Godfather of one-to-one marketing

Stan Rapp is a business builder who has twice served as Chairman/CEO of global advertising agencies at the forefront of the advertising industry. As co-founder of Rapp Collins (rebranded as RAPP) he launched an agency that became one of the top 10 world wide. As the CEO of MRM - McCann Relationship Marketing - the agency grew from 30 to 200 million in revenue.

He was recognized by Advertising Age as one of the 101 individuals who shaped advertising in the 20th Century, and was elected to the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame.

Sebastian Jespersen

CEO and Founder of Vertic

Sebastian Jespersen is an innovator, a business strategist, and a breakthrough digital thinker. He founded independent digital agency Vertic over a decade ago; today it has a footprint on three continents and serves some of the world’s best-known global marketers and brands. Both a digital guru and evangelist, he has successfully taken a start-up from the birth of the online marketing era through to the advertising world’s new Internet battleground. All while shepherding Vertic to extraordinary year-on-year growth. Clients include Microsoft, SAP, GE, Novo Nordisk, GSK and PayPal.

Portrait of Sebastian Jespersen

Post-Covid the average U.S. consumer spent 6 hours 54 minutes of daily device time.

Up 19% over the past 12 months.

What is Share of Life®?

by Sebastian Jespersen &  Godfather of One-to-one marketing, Stan Rapp

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