Branding in the age of connectivity
The age of connectivity has revolutionized all aspects of modern life. Mass communication is by far the most democratizing development in our history, and with it comes a tremendous change in how business is conducted. No longer is it sufficient to claim that one’s product is simply better, faster or stronger than another. Nor is it a sustainable business practice to ignore the benefits of engagement with one’s customer base or clientele. In a time of uncompromising transparency and maximum connectivity, the brands that survive will not be the fastest, smartest or strongest but the most engaging and authentic.
In the past, a transaction would have been the beginning and end of a relationship with a customer. Today, however, with a highly interconnected global marketplace and countless startups jostling for success, there is nothing like a simple, cold exchange of goods or services to make a brand completely forgettable. You must be more.
Infuse your brand with the single guiding principle that motivates your business and offer your customers an idea as much as a product. Allow this belief to guide not only your marketing strategy but all aspects of your business. Do, for example, use energy-efficient procedures in your day to day business operations if you offer energy saving appliances. Company-wide commitment to a singular belief cultivates trust in the brand and faith in your business.
Engage with your customers. Give them opportunities to share and create. Remember that you are no longer selling a product, but an idea, an idea that must live and breathe and grow. Organize contests and creative campaigns to involve customers in the evolution of your brand. Maintain an active, relevant and memorable presence on social media. The company that engages, informs, and educates as often as it sells will always be ahead of the one that doesn’t.
Familiarize yourself with the demographics of your customer base and curate your website content so that customers can get to where they need, fast. Respect your clientele’s busy schedules by making your website as approachable and convenient as possible.
Information has never been available at such incredible speed, convenience and volume. Many old business models are no longer viable. In their place, however, are practices that cultivate brands even as they delight consumers and propel businesses into the future.