Today’s digital-mania has turned traditional marketing and branding strategies on their heads. But, what does it mean to be a brand in today’s increasingly digitalized world? Krikor Khatchikian, Managing Director at Grey Doha share his take.
The time has come to face reality and hop on the digital bandwagon. There is no use stalling nor delaying a brand’s rebooting. It’s bound to happen at some point – sooner rather than later if we may emphasize. It is essential to keep scrutinizing the current market and spotting big trends. Otherwise if a brand doesn’t, or does so at a slower rate than others, it will stand out as being old-fashioned and irrelevant.
Yes, identifying trends to adapting a brand to the digital age is as important as the determination of a brand’s lifespan in this era. Here comes the consumer factor. A brand is what the consumer says it is - after all. Far more than a name or a logo, a brand is the idea that exists in the mind of the customer. It’s the thoughts and feelings – or lack of them for that matter – people have when they see or hear a company name. Customers today are at the center of everything. A brand exists – or ceases to exist –through them.
The digital age has instigated the rise of the empowered customer. Authorities have shifted. Due to digitalization, brands don’t have the privilege of monopolizing information anymore. Data dictated by traditional company figures such as CEOs is no longer credible. People now refer to third party sources of information such as review sites, blogs and forums where customers share their views and experiences with brands. Customers now have a voice, and it can reach millions of people in a split second. In other terms, consumers can make or break a brand.
With an increasingly competitive and saturated landscape, and consumers being more selective and discerning, a successful brand must cut through the clutter and stand out. It should have a unique yet constant aesthetic voice across all online and offline channels, whilst always staying true to its DNA.
Furthermore, a brand should strive to create an emotional connection with its customers. Knowing the consumers is crucial, but it’s definitely not enough to survive in this digital-centric world. Interacting with the consumer and creating an emotional connection are two paramount verses of the digital Bible. A brand should personalize every experience and make its customers feel special. Anything shorter than that and the brand is out of the game.
With technology growing at an exponential rate, change is the only constant today. However, brands shouldn’t consider this as a hick-up, but rather embrace it. Digitalization has opened exciting opportunities for brands to engage with consumers. Brands who capitalize on this change are the ones who will make it.
If there’s a motto brands should live by, it’s undoubtedly the following:
Customers are not always right, but they are never wrong.