Adapt­ing brands to the dig­i­tal age by Krikor Khatchikian

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?

ArabAd - - CONTENTS - THE DIG­I­TAL AGE HAS IN­STI­GATED THE RISE OF THE EM­POW­ERED CUS­TOMER. AU­THOR­I­TIES HAVE SHIFTED. By Krikor Khatchikian, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Grey Doha

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 old­fash­ioned 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.

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