Immersed in the digital age, marked by constant evolution and transformation, it is necessary to contemplate a perspective adapted to this situation for the creation and management of brands. Faced with a past defined by physical environments, new platforms and systems are emerging in which brands have to coexist and create experiences. New channels and new points of contact are growing, a reality that is increasingly becoming virtual where machines and their algorithms are the engines of decisions about our preferences. It is a disruptive reality where the customer has all the power. However, it represents a great opportunity for those brands that know how to adapt from static to dynamic systems, connecting with their customers across different experiences and ecosystems.

The Digital Revolution and Branding

The digital revolution has made it easier than ever to find information of all kinds about brands, companies, products and services, sharing experiences and points of view with any other digital user, anywhere in the world. Customers today base most of their purchasing decisions on the online information they find. Up to 94% perform a previous search online. Therefore, their needs are not only an important criterion to take into account, they are the main focus that should move brands.

The digitization of purchasing processes completely changes how companies should think and act. Not only to the extent that this affects your digital presence, but in terms of the implications that this situation has regarding the management of your brand. Understanding the role and potential of the brand is more important than ever and should not be diluted by thinking that with a good social media campaign you can create value.

Branding in the digital age still requires the basic principles of brand management, even if they must adapt to new media. It’s not so much about getting brands to connect digitally, it’s about getting customers to connect with brands there and when they really care.

How to Do Branding in the Digital Age

Human nature remains the same, habits and behaviors, desires and motivations, the way we search and consume change. Understanding the difference is critical to successful brand management in this changing environment.

Positioning continues to be a key strategic factor. The brand defines a meaning, which through a set of values is articulated according to certain behaviors. The digital team – it is not a technical department but an amalgam of marketing, engineers, designers, customer service, sales, etc. – must share it and use it as a cornerstone to meaningfully activate the brand at each of the touchpoints, as if they were physical spaces.

From one-way communication to dialogue

One-way communication has given way to dialogue. Customers seek information not only from the brand itself but also through third parties (blogs, news sites , forums…). The Company’s own managers lose credibility in the eyes of other external referents and opinion leaders. Companies need to review the role of their employees in the context of branding. Aligning employees with the brand is a great opportunity to turn them into the best ambassadors and optimize their communication potential.

But empty speeches are easily discovered. Transparency is not a state, it is constantly demonstrated. Brands must take an authentic and honest approach to be credible, and even more so considering the increase in online communication. It will be necessary to show the arguments and data that confirm what they promote to the extent that this will favor the construction of solid relationships.

Brand Management in the Digital Age

In brand management there is no such thing as an on and off world, brand strategies must be holistic and coherent across all touchpoints. It is the era of omnichannel, where virtual reality is even emerging strongly. People alternate their experiences with the brand from any of those “worlds” that will need to be coordinated.

Disruption is now a permanent state for brands. Perhaps those who were born in this environment have it more assumed, although they should not forget that having an App is not having a brand. And those others that did not emerge digital have a great advantage that they should not forget, technology is not at all the enemy of humanization. Every day we see new attempts to humanize the digital experience with brands. Let’s not forget that brands are created by people and target other people; Building a brand today is about consolidating relationships.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

President of Branward®

Photos: Shutterstock


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