The purpose of a brand used to be a guide for consumers to find consistent quality products or services identified by their (trade)mark, a kind of signage.
Generally, there is no shortage of supply in our world today. In fact, it has come to the point, that you ‘shouldn’t kill the bear, before you have sold the fur’ rather than vice versa, because the shortage is demand - i.e. customers! Therefore you need to enter their universe and establish a relevant connection with the audience you want to engage. The role of the brand is more relational than ever. Intended to build loyalty and preference to increase the effectiveness of your ongoing interactions.
Shouting the unique virtues of your products from the roof tops or other means of one-way communication are unlikely to succeed. The amount of touch points available is growing exponentially. All existing conventions are rapidly becoming obsolete. Consumers trust the people they know. If you have qualified content to offer, you can start your own channel before the sun sets. If it adds value, recipients decide, if they want to include it in their universe of trusted sources and relations. When you succeed, the reward is tangible. The brand relationship will reduce your cost of interaction, increase your share-of-purse and increase total value - because you add more value - i.e. meaning to your customers.
The number of available channels is growing exponentially. If you want your own channel you can build it before bedtime and broadcast instantly. You may want to dietingish about owned, paid or, earned channels?
As in space, the number of destinations - or touch points - is infinite, but there are also plenty of gaps between consumer universes, and the competition for an invitation to enter is fierce. Subsequently, knowing your audience and understanding, where they are or go, and follow, is more important than ever. The mix of target groups and touch points is your table. The content that form your agenda are your bets. In combination audience, touch points and agendas form a 3D universe. The common ground between loyal consumers and brands.
The formulation of the right agendas and identifying the most effective touch points, is defining your performance. Pay or earn the attention of your audience or build attractive touch points of your own to bridge the gap. This is probably one of the most challenging exercises if you are not a digital native. Brick&Mortars need not only to understand an array of new fast-moving digital touch points. They have to evolve their organisations and change their processes simultaneously - in real time, at high speed.
This is my view of the matter, of course. I am curious to hear yours, and encourage any views or insights you want to contribute to our continuous development. Feel free to chip in by mail, or on LinkedIn and twitter. Thanks.