Don’t Just Digitize, Humanize
We’re living in a world of convergence. Two major shifts are taking place in the product market landscape that has changed the rules of engagement between brands and consumers.
On one side, we’re living in an ever-expanding world of new and more advanced technology. From wearables to the Internet of Things (IoT) to social media at everyone’s fingertips. And this is just the beginning.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that the iPhone is only 10 years old (Apple has sold more than a billion iPhones) and Facebook (on the verge of 2 billion active users) has only been publicly available since 2006.
It’s hard to imagine a world without a smartphone or Facebook. And, these advancements are giving consumers new tools to research, price-shop, purchase, refer friends and comment about a product or service they liked or didn’t.
On the other side, we’re living in a values-centric market landscape. A time where customers are more vocal than ever about the products they want or need and how those products are immediately replicable by another if it doesn’t live up to its value proposition.
People want, if not insist, on brands being in alignment with their own personal values. And we are more vocal than ever about something that falls short of its stated value or exceeds it. This highly vocal and viral world we live in has done significant damage to brands that have behavior, integrity or reputation issues: United Airlines, Wells Fargo, Volkswagen/Audi, Uber and Pepsi, just to name a few.
The best brands are built on a foundation that holds a clear purpose, or reason for being, at its center. This purpose goes beyond just making money. It is the defined and stated reason the business exists and the positive impact it aims to make on the world. Clearly defined and expressed throughout your entire culture and infused into your public messaging and marketing; it is the “true north” for a company and for consumers who look to purchase goods or services from that company.
This convergence of technology folded into our daily lives with the vocal desire for more value from our products and brands create the landscape for the new consumer. Knowing how to build a brand, launch products and consistently tell the world, will make or break brands and products of today and in the future.