Rapid technology development vs. brand consistency

Development of digital technology enabled the launch of new platforms and channels for communication with consumers and changed how brands connect and create value with them. Marketing universe is changing from mass markets to customer networks. New possibilities have arrived for much more emotional brand experience and 24/7 interaction via multiple channels simultaneously.

Companies have exploited this opportunity by reaching for a huge auditorium of consumers on social media, fan groups and other web pages. They used paid advertisements, educational (promotive) writings and audio content. New sea of opportunities has opened for digital marketers to promote a brand but not without a risk. Sending a wrong message and damaging the brand while interacting with hundreds of potentially sensitive posts often of family or personal nature has become an on-going threat. In order to keep your brand management efficient you must implement some changes in the way you do it.

New game rule is that digital marketers don’t have exclusivity for managing own brand any more but now being forced to do it in partnership with consumers whose dynamic participation has become a critical driver of business success. Customers’ communications and reviews make bigger influence than advertisements and brand marketing content as they run in parallel. Unfortunately customer’s content is often difficult to associate with current brand message and identity. This is why keeping brand consistency on multiple channels has made the promoters work more demanding.

Modern consumer, always equipped with smart phone and tablet, not to mention smart spectacles or watches, now consults multiple channels for a single purchase decision. Above utilising digital channels for search, interested shopper also visits street vendors, sales and shopping malls before making final decision. The result is huge pressure on brands to provide consistent experience for consumers on all channels at any time. Always-on interaction availability, system functionality and positive emotion therefore become essential for a good brand management organisation.

It is not that difficult to achieve consistent external brand look on all platforms. Just stick to same colours, logotypes and layout. Also choose recognisable voice and language to use in all situations and media. However be prepared for a true challenge when trying to achieve consistent internal brand identity and message consistency. In order to succeed here I would suggest that you learn and understand your digital auditorium first i.e. who visits your page, why and what they are looking for. The key question for you is what value can your brand add to them? Correctly answering this one will enable consistent and efficient interaction. Further more, segment your auditorium into more coherent groups which share several demographic characteristics and/or specific interests to enable targeting more specific needs and open the door for true personalisation with customers.

Moving forward, you must integrate your brand management business process in order to function as a single, well-oiled system. It includes your employees in charge of “listening” the media including Internet, content writers and distributors as well as all those who communicate with consumers on digital platforms, via call centres or during servicing activities, and finally those who analyse all that. Building successful marketing organisation that covers all mentioned above requires careful thinking and effective planning, creativity, exceptional content and effective distribution, not to mention continuous learning, experimenting and innovation. If you succeed in finding and implementing right business process and technology into your marketing production you will improve quantity of brand interaction while keeping its consistency in the same time. It will also have positive effect on your marketing ROI.

Finally you should always aim for personalised interaction with consumer – probably the most solid foundation for brand loyalty. Easy to say, tough and risky to execute but sustainable with maximised ROI when (if) achieved. When someone receives a new message from associated / befriended brand which, by the way usually contains hidden (or not) sales pitch, it is more likely to respond on this offer. It is because consumer unconsciously identifies with a brand which he participated to build with his own content. Marketer’s objective is to facilitate unconscious link between a brand and consumer’s personality. Best professionals will know how to use someone’s emotions expressed on social network to efficiently reach hearts and minds of the rest of their auditorium.

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