A digitally connected world has made it easier for brands to connect with their target audience. With a touch of a button, content from brands can reach a customer’s smartphone, smart watch or tablet. The social media channels are the new ‘advertising’ platforms, although this time, brands have to earn the audience’s trust over time before making a killing in sales. Arguably, the digital age is enabling brands and bringing them closer to customers. How can brands utilize the different digital channels without messing up? Here are the golden rules of successful branding updated for the digital age.
The 10 rules of branding in 2017
1. Brands have to connect on a human level
Humans have persona, feelings and values. To connect better with humans, brands have to possess some of the human qualities. This doesn’t mean that brands have to be their customer’s best friend-it does, however, imply a level of empathy and trustworthiness. People buy from brands they feel connected to and can trust.
2. Brands needs to have authenticity
Brands have to express their core values and stay consistent in their mission/message. Customers want to know why a brand exists (the driving force behind creating a brand to really help people) and the ethical way they conduct business. A level of transparency is expected in how the brand source their products and run the business. A brand that acts as if they only care about revenue will not last long.
3. Brands needs to listen
Brands become powerful through their customers. If they displease customers through a poor service and attitude then their power can be taken away. Sometimes, brands only hear what they want to hear and are surprised when customers leave them in droves. Successful brands listen to customers on social media and resolve any problems in a timely and transparent manner.
4. Brands have to be relevant
When brands pay close attention to what their customers are saying, they can stay ahead of the curve. They absorb all the fresh and new ideas from customers and can anticipate changes in tastes. A relevant brand is constantly changing and obsessed about providing a great customer service.
5. Brands should not treat sales as transactions
Customers like to feel appreciated when they make a decision to buy from certain brands. A friendly and personalized service can make customers loyal and recommend the brand to their social circles.
6. Brands have show off their personality
Having a strong brand persona can polarize audiences. Still, it is better to have die hard customers love your strong personality than to be bland. Many brands are afraid of alienating customers and adopt a neutral stance to everything. Like the generic brand video shown above, brands withholding their personality can disappear quickly without a trace.
7. Brands should adopt the community spirit
Tying in with relevancy, successful brands are often part of their customer’s social community and contributing. This way, customers can feel more connected and build a better relationship with the brand.
8. Brands have to provide an experience customers can share
Whether it be amazing customer service, or providing value in content marketing, brands have to be exceptional in some way for their customers to share the same great experience.
9. Brands have to move away from a hard sell
The in your face hard sell no longer works because customers have more choice and do not respond well to orders telling them what to do. Brands have to persuade using good content and cultivate trust over time. Once people see that a brand is authentic, consistent and eager to provide value, they will empty their wallets.
10. Brands need to reward client loyalty
It is said that attracting new customers is much more difficult than retaining existing ones. Brands that concentrate on keeping existing customers loyal will win in the long run. The lifetime value (LTV) provided by loyal customers is high. In the digital age, it is hard to get attention, let alone to keep a customer loyal. Acknowledging customer’s loyalty and rewarding them with goodies, discounts or exclusive products are some of the ways successful brands thrive in the digital age.
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