By Geoff De Weaver, CEO + Founder of Touchpoint Entertainment Inc.
Today’s digital world and marketplace is ‘always on’. Unfortunately for many ‘traditional’ and old school marketers, the days of spending huge amounts of marketing dollars on traditional ‘Branding’ with Ad Agencies that try to scream, push and endeavor to burn a branding slogan or idea into a customers brain and consciousness are well and truly over! Ad Agencies also traditionally insisted their ideas and creative is the only way to build a brand and sell products and services. (NOT TODAY)
The marketing world has changed dramatically, since the Mad Men era, and the paradigm has shifted. Great brands today win or lose by how well they WOW customers. Also, research studies have shown that aggressive marketing (noisy interruptions) actually turn customers off.
Today, you must think of your customers as king, and should realize that just like kings, they tend to listen and trust the opinions of their advisers, friends and family. Today’s customer won’t hesitate to walk away, or should I say, run away from an established company relationship that doesn’t meet their needs.
Additionally, the following statement says it all about marketing today –
“A brand isn’t what you say it is. It’s what Google says it is’ ~ Chris Anderson, The Long Tail 2007
You now need to ask yourself the question, “what is a brand?” because in today’s digital world the paradigm shift it means, what customers say it is!
While you may still think that your logo, slogan, official brand story or marketing campaigns are and represent your brand this is no longer true. In today’s ‘always on’ 24 x 7 marketplace, your brand is now defined by what your customers, fans, users and audience say it is and, more importantly how they define their customer experience with your brand. This means as Malcolm Gladwell has said:
“Innovation—the heart of the knowledge economy—is fundamentally social.”
And, let’s not forget what Jeff Bezos of Amazon has also said about branding…
How customers experience your brand is the brand! It’s that moment when your customers call the help desk, service center, email for help, walk into the retail store or interact with the cabin crew attendant or front desk attendee at a Hotel. That is your brand in today’s digital world.
Social media marketing, using big data, smartphones, tablets, CRM, ecommerce, mobile marketing and the cloud now set the standard today for how business is done. Customers expect more in 2015 and beyond. They want evolving digital experiences and seamless interactions—with any brand—across multiple platforms and channels: integrated experiences, accessible anywhere and on any device! Build a customer-centric company!
So while you can spend millions on brand advertising campaigns, one snide remark from a frontline employee can negate all your branding efforts and all bets are off! Just one disgruntled person will easily tell 20-40 others by word of mouth, or far more if amplified via social media – especially with the average person having more than 388 Facebook friends. (In fact, 15 percent of users have friend lists topping 500. ) Also, depending on the product category (especially with children’s products and foods) this is disastrous in today’s digital, social and mobile age.
You must now focus on these three key factors today:
- Experience is the brand.
- Customers are the brand.
- Your own workforce/people are your brand.
So, while traditional advertising may claim to be all about “Branding” – the image, the slogan, the logo, the visual narrative, they’re now far less effective than the stories told about your organisation or product by people, friends and family (think Tweets, Facebook Likes/Shares, Instagram, Google+ etc.).
Bottom-line, the old marketing and advertising directions, campaigns and plans, don’t deliver the best or most cost effective and efficient results in today’s Digital world. The Mad Men days are long gone. This means traditional ‘interruptive’ advertising by “shouting at customers” in one direction simply isn’t working in today’s crowded and noisy marketplace.
Listening and having a conversation and two-way dialogue with clients, customers and fans is how to be successful in today’s digital age. A lot can be learned, in driving relevant brand engagements on the consumer’s terms, It’s now absolutely crucial to remember:
- Experience is the BRAND – Branding is NOT a strategy, it’s who you are.
- Brands are built from the heart and are authentic, passionate and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they come from a place of love, passion within the human spirit. Not an ad campaign or a one line slogan.
- Old School branding campaigns are manufactured, and brand narratives without soul and simply don’t work today.
- With social media and thousands of new digital channels, ad agencies can’t control or manage the brand conversation like they did in the days of the Mad Men.
- Brands today have become the stories and experiences we tell AND share.
Bottom-line, to build great digital brands like Facebook, Twitter, Uber, GoPro, WhatsApp,Tesla, WeWork, Apple and others in a digital age, you must remember these key points are critical today:
- Experiences matter
- Storytelling matters but must focus on customer insights
- Build trust, loyalty and advocacy
- Use Strategy and insights to inform matter
- Leverage the global network and best of breed partners e.g. in mobile, social networks, live streaming, big data, etc.
- Always remember to inspire, create and connect the dots with your client’s passions and…
- Be authentic
- Be results focused
To be more successful in building a Digital Brand you must get closer to the customer. The best and most innovative companies today realize that it’s crucial to growth. I think no longer does the customer experience belong to a creative agency. Now, an organization can focus on its own brand story and apply that vision to its customer-impact and engagement strategy and by becoming world-class at listening to their customers, clients and fans.
Win the Day!
More About Geoff De Weaver:
Hailing from New York; Geoff De Weaver is the driven, passionate and charismatic entrepreneur, lifestyle guru behind Touchpoint Entertainment Inc. Geoff is a catalyst for change, business coach, digital provocateur, paradigm shifter and a strategist for success.
As a CEO + Founder of Touchpoint Entertainment, Geoff is always on the lookout for the latest business innovation, sporting trends, music trends and for the latest ways to engage with people; from mobile and streaming technologies, to live events, music, sports marketing, entertainment and customer/fan experience.
Geoff has a global 25-year background of representing some of the world’s most iconic worldwide brands including: Coca Cola, IBM, IMG, P&G, Microsoft, Nike, British Airways, Wells Fargo, EA Sports, MasterCard, Shutterfly.com, EA.com, E*Trade, Nestle, Air France, AT&T, VISA, Unilever, EA.com, Ferrari, American Express, P&G, Trend Micro, Acer Computers, BMW, Shutterfly.com, Mars, Pfizer, TiVo, EarthLink Internet, American Express, Telstra and others.
- Top 0.5% Worldwide on Twitter Globally
- Top 1% Influencer on LinkedIn and 32+ million network on LinkedIn worldwide
- Top 1% Most Viewed Profiles on LinkedIn ( 380+ million members)
- Geoff is a Digital Pioneer, Data-Driven, Entrepreneur, Business Coach + Innovator.
Feel free to get in touch with Geoff for further information: