Technology has seen incredible advances and subsequent changes in the way we live, the way we communicate and the way we consume.
For a long time the foundation of a successful brand was to provide consumers with consistent familiarity. This was a sound and effective strategy because the ‘exposure’ consumers had with brands’ was limited. Consumers were not so informed on their choices and were more likely to go for a brand that they knew and trust, a familiar logo, tagline or jingle.
Predictable familiarity provided consumers with dependable purchases that fulfilled their expectations. Consumers wanted brands to be consistent so they could become and remain familiar to them.
Not anymore – the ‘game’ has changed!
Consumers these days (thanks to technology) with just a couple taps on their smartphone have access to endless choices in brands and both subjective and objective information about the products and services they seek.
No longer is there a standout brand that is known and trusted because of a recognisable profile or promise… within a short amount of time a consumer can become informed of many brands and also review numerous consumer reviews and opinions to be able to make an informed choice from a larger number of brands. Today consumers can even sample a brand before they purchase whether that be via virtual tours, free trial software/services, on-demand video demonstrations etc.
So the ‘playing field’ has been levelled!
It’s not just about the large brands that have enough budget and clout to win over consumers with TV advertising, prevalent outdoor advertising and media coverage – the small and boutique brands now have just as much chance and this is great news for small and medium size businesses!
If we no longer need brands to be familiar and predictable, then what do we expect of them? Brands that are a catalyst for change are the real winners in today’s marketplace.
Consumers want brands to be innovative, to excite and capture their attention in a world flooded with messages and advertisements. Whether introducing new products or new services, providing customers with more choice, value-add and improvements… the change needs to be constant!
Perhaps the rapid and constant innovation of technology and its positive effects on our lifestyle have fuelled these expectations.
The brands that understand this significant shift are the ones that are winning with consumers today. Constant innovation and change balanced with strong consistency in their visual profile branding in this digital age will in fact build more customer loyalty than those brands that remain predictably familiar and ‘stayed’.
It is a very challenging prospect for brands – particularly the large ones because it really requires a complete ‘shift’ right through the whole brand – right to its core from their organisation’s mission and vision to the people that work for the brand, that deliver the products and services.
It requires a shift in your thinking… to constantly surprise and innovate – that’s the new value of brands, not the old value of brands in being faithfully familiar.
Brands don’t have a choice here… change your ‘game’ or be left behind and lose.